Norway and Sweden agree to raise renewable energy target http://af.reuters.com/article/energyOilNews/idAFL5N0WF0YY20150313 Fri Mar 13, 2015 OSLO, (Reuters) – Norway and Sweden agreed on Friday to increase a joint 2020 renewable energy target by almost 8 percent under a subsidy scheme which could lead to higher energy prices for consumers.
Under the new target, the two Nordic countries aim to raise the amount of electricity they produce in total from renewable energy sources such as wind, hydro or biomass to 28.4 terawatt-hours (TWh) per year by 2020 from 26.4 TWh.
The changes to the common support scheme need to be approved by lawmakers in both countries before it comes into effect.
Norway and Sweden launched the first cross-border renewable support scheme in the world in 2012. Producers receive electricity certificates depending on how much green power they produce, which they can sell on the market for profit.
However, the system is financed by electricity end-users, as the costs of the certificates are added to electricity bills, meaning consumers in Norway and Sweden contribute to paying for rises in renewable energy production.
Higher renewables output could also increase pressure on already low Nordic power prices, hurting revenues of such power producers as Vattenfall or Statkraft.
Nordic spot power prices fell to 29.61 euros per megawatt-hour (MWh) in 2014, the lowest since 2007, partly due to more renewable power being added, sluggish demand and warm weather.
However, the wind power industry welcomed the news.
“It’s a big boost for the Nordic electricity certificate market. There will be additional 2 TWh to fight for,” said Andreas Thon Aasheim, an advisor at Norwegian wind power association Norwea, referring to the additional renewable output agreed by the two countries.
Norway lags Sweden on wind power production, but the Norwegian government has agreed to harmonise depreciation rules for wind power projects to bring them into line with Sweden. (Reporting by Nerijus Adomaitis; editing by Nina Chestney and David Evans)
Municipalities in Sweden powering cities from renewable energy sources Phys Org, 13 Jan 15 By relying on district heating combined with heat and power production, municipalities in Sweden power their cities from renewable energy sources. Nordic countries have achieved a great independence from fossils because of their widespread district heating systems. District heating is a smart way to avoid using fossil fuels to heat buildings. It is typically based on wood, peat and other biofuels, or household waste. But other non-fossil fuel sources, such as deep thermal heat—sourced from between 100 to 500 meters below the ground—or recycled heat from industries can be used as well.
Two Swedish experts talk to youris.com about ways of removing carbon-based fuels from the heating equation, and what other municipalities can learn from their experience. One of them is Karin Ericsson, a senior lecturer at the Department of Environmental and Energy Systems of Lund’s University. Her research field is energy system analysis and bioenergy in Europe. The other is Mats Didriksson, who is director for the business area energy of Kraftringen, an energy company owned by four municipalities in Southern Sweden near the city of Lund.
What is the history of the development of district heating in Sweden?………
What can cities in other countries learn from Sweden’s experiences?………..http://phys.org/news/2015-01-municipalities-sweden-powering-cities-renewable.html
Sweden doubles waste fee for nuclear power plant operators http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/12/18/us-sweden-nuclear-idUSKBN0JW1YV20141218 Sweden’s government has decided to almost double a fee nuclear power plant operators pay to the nuclear waste fund, in order to help it cover the rising costs of decommissioning, the environment ministry said on Thursday.
Sweden’s state-owned utility Vattenfall [VATN.UL] operates Forsmark and Ringhals power plants, and Germany’s E.ON operates Oskarshamn plant. Finnish utility Fortum, which operates Loviisa power plant, also has stakes in Forsmark and Oskarshamn.
The nuclear industry will have to pay 0.04 Swedish crowns per kilowatt-hour from 2015-2017, up from 0.022 crowns today, the government decided. In 2013 the fees to the waste fund, a government authority, amounted to 2.5 billion Swedish crowns ($324.41 million). “Nuclear power must bear its own costs and the government’s decision to increase the nuclear waste fee makes this possible,” said Climate and Environment Minister Asa Romson.
Nuclear power has come under increased pressure in Sweden after general elections in September when the Social Democrats and the Green Party formed a minority cabinet. The coalition fell in a budget vote earlier this month, and a snap election is due in March.
The industry has warned that a combination of rising taxes and extra costs for new safety measures could lead to earlier shutdown of older plants, and potentially higher power prices.
(Reporting by Nerijus Adomaitis; Editing by Mark Trevelyan)
Swedish NGO delivers anti-Fennovoima petition toFinland http://www.rcinet.ca/eye-on-the-arctic/2014/12/03/swedish-ngo-delivers-anti-fennovoima-petition/by Radio Sweden
Members of a Swedish civic organisation collected and delivered more than 20,000 signatures from individuals protesting the proposed construction of a nuclear power plant in northwest Finland by the power consortium Fennovoima.
The delegation from the Swedish NGO Nuclear-free Gulf of Bothnia (Kärnkraftsfritt Bottenviken) visited the Finnish parliament Tuesday morning to hand over the petition on behalf of more than 170,000 residents of seven municipalities that lie close to the proposed construction site of the Pyhäjoki nuclear power plant. The site in northwest Finland lies just 155 kilometres from the Swedish coast.
“Because of the natural environment Hanhikivi is an extremely poor choice to locate a nuclear power plant,” activist Kristina Berg told lawmakers in Helsinki.
Earlier this year, demonstrators gathered in the centre of the Swedish coastal city of Luleå ahead of a public hearing on the proposed plant in Pyhäjoki, near Raahe.
Environmental impact on Sweden?
The protesters have long been worried about the potential environmental impact of the nuclear facility on the Swedish side of the Gulf of Bothnia. Many have demanded a fundamental re-think of the project and have also called for a system of sustainable energy that is not based on continuous growth.
Residents of the Swedish communities have also pointed to the strong role of the Russian state-owned nuclear contractor Rosatom in the proposed project, even charging that Finland is outsourcing its energy needs to Russia.
The petition was delivered as Finland’s largest power producer Fortum announced plans to buy a stake in the Fennovoima nuclear power plant, taking it one step closer to reality.
The cabinet had previously dictated that the plant should be at least 60 percent domestic or European-owned as a prerequisite for a final go-ahead. Fortum’s investment would take Finnish ownership to 66 percent, helping the project meet the government’s criterion.
Sweden faces future without nuclear, World Nuclear news, 01 October 2014 Sweden may be facing the phase out of nuclear power following agreement by the country’s Social Democrats and their junior coalition partner, the Green Party, to set up an energy commission tasked with achieving a 100% renewable electricity system. ………Social Democrat leader Stefan Lofven said in a statement today: “Sweden has very good potential to expand renewable energy through our good access to water, wind and forests. In time, Sweden will have an energy system with 100% renewable energy.”….
The parties said in separate, but identical statements that nuclear power should be replaced with renewable energy and energy efficiency. The goal, they said, should be at least 30 TWh of electricity from renewable energy sources by 2020. A goal for 2030 has yet to be set, they added. Support for offshore wind and solar power are needed “in addition”, they said.
Nuclear power “should bear a greater share of its economic cost”, they said. “Safety requirements should be strengthened and the nuclear waste fee increased.”
Sweden’s nuclear plants forced to cut output due to warm weather Planet Ark, 24-Jul-14 Balazs Koranyi Sweden’s top nuclear power generators have been forced to cut output because of exceptionally warm weather in Scandinavia, and their output could be reduced for over a week, their operators said on Wednesday.
Oskarshamn, part of Germany’s E.ON and Forsmark, operated by Swedish utility Vattenfall have both cut output because warm sea water temperatures are limiting their ability to cool down.
“For each degree above 23 decrees Celsius in the cooling water, each unit has to decrease power by 3 percent,” Forsmark said in a market message. “It is uncertain how long this will last, but according to meteorologists, the warm weather will last for at least 11 more days.”
Temperatures exceeded 30 degrees in the southern part of Scandinavia this week, hitting their highest level in years…….http://planetark.org/enviro-news/item/71927
Sweden plans big rise in fees to nuclear decommissioning fund http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/international/business/sweden-plans-big-rise-in-fees-to-nuclear-decommissioning-fund/articleshow/37335517.cms By Reuters | 27 Jun, 2014 OSLO: Sweden on Friday proposed a sharp rise in fees nuclear power producers have to pay the country’s nuclear decommissioning fund, saying previous cost estimates were too low.
Sweden has three nuclear power plants with ten reactors in operation, generating about 40 per cent of the country’s electricity needs. The oldest reactors are expected to be shut at the beginning of the next decade.
OSLO: Sweden on Friday proposed a sharp rise in fees nuclear power producers have to pay the country’s nuclear decommissioning fund, saying previous cost estimates were too low. The Swedish Radiation Safety Authority (SSM) said it has proposed raising fees by 73 per cent to 0.038 crowns ($0.01) per kilowatt-hour from 0.022 crowns for 2015.
It said the Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Company (SKB) had to recalculate fees to the nuclear decommissioning fund for the period of 2016-2017.
“The SSM has assessed that the costs for decommissioning and final disposal for the Swedish nuclear power industry may be underestimated by SKB by at least 11 billion Swedish crowns ($1.63 billion),” the authority said in a statement.
Sweden’s state-owned utility Vattenfall operates seven reactors and Germany’s E.ON three. Finnish utility Fortum has stakes in six Swedish nuclear reactors.
Swedes are becoming increasingly skeptical of nuclear power with a new survey showing 50 percent of respondents want the controversial power source phased out.
The report from the SOM Institute at the University of Gothenburg found support falling for nuclear power since a meltdown at Japanese power plant. With other European nations moveing away from nuclear power, Swedes are also growing leery.
“The fact that Germany, Switzerland, Italy and several other countries have begun to phase out nuclear power, it’s likely that nowadays it might happen in Sweden, too,” Sören Holmberg, a political science professor at Gothenburg University, told Swedish Radio News.
Before the nuclear accident at Fukushima in Japan, Swedes were generally positive toward building new reactors with 44 percent supporting the measure and 39 percent opposing it. After the disaster in 2011, 44 percent said they were against nuclear power and now half of respondents are anti-nuclear.
As before, support for new nuclear plants is strongest on the right of the political spectrum and the greatest resistance is from the left. Men and white collar workers are also more positive than women and laborers.
This story is posted on Alaska Dispatch as part of Eye on the Arctic, a collaborative partnership between public and private circumpolar media organizations.
Will Finland’s proposed nuclear plant affect Sweden’s North?, Alaska Dispatch YLE NewsEye on the Arctic January 10, 2014 Northern Sweden is concerned that the proposed nuclear plant in Western Finland would harm neighboring Sweden’s nature and fish stocks.
At the Finnish Ministry of the Economy and Employment, sending a delegation to Sweden to discuss the contentious issues is on the table.
Fennovoima’s planned Pyhäjoki nuclear plant is being strongly opposed in Northern Sweden. The opposition is set on stopping the plant, which is a Finnish-Russian joint venture…….
In Sweden, opposition to the plant includes non-governmental groups as well as government officials and local politicians. Their goal is to provoke debate and ultimately prevent construction of the plant all together. Their concerns include nuclear safety as well as the potential destruction of Northern Sweden’s nature and fish stocks.
According to Senior Engineer Aurela, opposition to the plant mainly concerns the nuclear plant’s warm water cooling system and potential nuclear accidents.
Rosatom’s promised financing has also raised suspicions…….http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/20140110/will-finland-s-proposed-nuclear-plant-affect-sweden-s-north
Sweden rejects British model for new nuclear plant deals http://au.news.yahoo.com/world/a/19936540/sweden-rejects-british-model-for-new-nuclear-plant-deals/ November 21, 2013, By Michel Rose PARIS (Reuters) – Sweden, reviving its nuclear power, will not follow Britain’s example of offering state guarantees to fund the construction of new plants, its energy minister said on Wednesday. Last month, Britain signed a deal with France’s EDF to build a new nuclear plant, becoming the first European country to guarantee a company a feed-in tariff for an atomic energy project. Sweden’s biggest power group Vattenfall has touted Britain’s price guarantee system to help companies commit to build new nuclear power plants in a market with low power prices.
“We won’t address any direct or indirect subsidies for new nuclear power production in Sweden, which means that we will not introduce any feed-in tariff for nuclear,” Swedish Energy Minister Anna-Karin Hatt told reporters in Paris. Continue reading
Swedish banks in nuclear weapons ‘hall of shame’The Local 10 Oct 2013 By lending money to multinational defence firms, Swedish banks are supporting the existence of nuclear weapons, the only weapon of mass destruction which is yet to be banned, according to a new report published on Thursday.
“Any weapons that have a indiscriminate effect are controversial weapons and there is global obligation for disarmament. Banks have a role to play and our report shows that they can, and do, choose to avoid investment in controversial weapons,” Susi Snyder, co-author of Don’t Bank on the Bomb, told The Local on Thursday.
“When customers find out that their money is being invested in nuclear weapons, they get angry. Banks can just as well invest in green energy, or beer,” she said.
The report includes a ‘Hall of Shame’ of financial institutions that support multinational defence firms currently involved with the world’s nuclear arsenals. Swedish banks SEB and SvenskaHandelsbanken are two of the firms named on the list…..http://www.thelocal.se/50712/20131010/
Jellyfish Invasion Forces EON to Shut Down Swedish Nuclear Plant Bloomberg, By Julia Mengewein – Sep 30, 2013 EON SE shut down Sweden’s biggest nuclear power plant after a swarm of jellyfish made its way into a cooling water inlet at the reactor on the Baltic coast.
The 1,400 megawatt Oskarshamn-3 unit, located about 340 kilometers (211 miles) south ofStockholm, accounts for 5 percent of Sweden’s power supply, Anders Oesterberg, a spokesman for EON, said by e-mail today.
“This situation is caused by a huge amount of jellyfish, just one is definitely not enough to cause problems,” Oesterberg said from Oskarshamn, Sweden. “The last time this happened was in August 2005, when we had to shut down Oskarshamn-1 because of a jellyfish invasion.”…. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-09-30/jellyfish-invasion-forces-eon-to-shut-down-swedish-nuclear-plant.html
Scrap nuclear power in Sweden: Social Democrat The Local 11 Sep 2013 A leading Social Democrat has emphasized her party’s wish to abolish nuclear power in Sweden in favour of greener alternatives, a move critics say would be “devastating” for the Swedish industrial sector.
Party leader Stefan Löfven was previously a strong supporter of nuclear power in his role as chairman of the IF Metall trade union. However, since becoming the leader of the opposition last year, Löfven has changed his stance on the issue. …… http://www.thelocal.se/50186/20130911/
Sweden favours renewables to nuclear: interview Climate Spectator, Reuters 30 May, Sweden’s government will not subsidise new nuclear power stations, the energy minister said, sticking by a policy that casts doubt on the sector’s long-term survival after the major operator sought to delay new investment. Continue reading
With Assange in Diplomatic Limbo, Sweden in No Rush to Press Rape Charges , 01 February 2013 By Alissa Bohling, Truthout | News Analysis With Julian Assange remaining in diplomatic limbo in London, Sweden refuses his offer for an interview, leading some to suspect they are not anxious to pursue allegations of rape that have been lodged against him……
In an October 2012 letter to US Attorney General Eric Holder, they asked the Department of Justice to give its word that Assange will not be extradited, subject to indefinite detention or prosecution under the Espionage Act for the activities of WikiLeaks, but with no response, he and his Swedish accusers remain in legal limbo, calling into question whether Assange’s civil liberties and the women’s right to take their accusations through the criminal justice process can both be upheld. Continue reading
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