Sweden’s deal leaves door to nuclear power open, but only just, Reuters STOCKHOLM, JUNE 23 | BY DANIEL DICKSON AND NERIJUS ADOMAITIS Sweden has agreed to cut taxes on nuclear power generators and allow for the construction of new reactors but policymakers have yet to work out how that fits with a commitment to using 100 percent renewable energy……..
Spokeswomen for the Energy Minister Ibrahim Baylan and for the Green Party, a junior member of the ruling coalition……….the target is formulated as electricity production… that means all production in Sweden is renewable,” Lise Nordin, Green Party energy policy spokeswoman and member of the parliament, told Reuters.
While the agreement allows power generators “in theory” to build new reactors, in reality they would be too costly, she added.
“The probability that new nuclear power will be built is zero,” Nordin said……..http://uk.reuters.com/article/sweden-nuclearpower-idUKL8N19E2VM
Sweden has committed to 100% renewable energy by 2040 – and at the same time ‘saved nuclear power’ http://nordic.businessinsider.com/sweden-is-to-use-100-renewable-energy-by-2040—but-no-expiration-date-has-been-set-for-nuclear-energy-2016-6/
Business Insider Nordic June 10, 2016 the Swedish government coalition together with a couple of the opposition parties presented a new broad agreement for Sweden’s energy consumption.
A date was set for Sweden’s energy production to be 100% renewable, but at the same time the agreement promises better conditions for Sweden’s nuclear power production: lower taxation, new facilites and no expiration date.
The agreement was presented at a press conference at which many of the involved parties emphasized the agreement as progress in the adaptation of renewable energy sources. Amongst other points an ambitious goal was set for 100% of Swedish energy consumption to come from renewable energy sources by 2040, according to Omni.
Such claims did not prevent some of the opposition parties from making the agreement out as a major victory in the dispute over the use of nuclear energy. A major tax on nuclear power was instead scrapped and no expiration date has been set, though one is often called for in the political debate.
According to SVT, Pernilla Gunther, who’s represented the Christian democratic party in the negotiations said, “With these negotiations we’ve achieved the goal of saving nuclear power, both in the long term and short term.”
Swedish nuclear power is a very controversial political topic.
The issue of nuclear power in Sweden is controversial because after the Harrisburg nuclear catastrophe a referendum in 1980 led to the decision that nuclear power should be non-existent in Sweden by 2010. The referendum has been criticized because there was no option to vote for not abolishing nuclear power.
Since then only one facility have been closed, while the Swedish parliament has approved that new facilities may be opened to replace old ones. The new agreement even allows for 10 new facilities to be built.
In this light it is not sursprising that the different parties are highlighting conflicting aspects of an agreement they all stand behind.
The problem seems to be that no sitting government is prepared to commit to abolishing nuclear power any time in the foreseeable future, though it is easy to shout demands and refer to the will of the people when in opposition. There has not been any consensus as to an alternative that is good enough, but with the new agreement perhaps there is hope.
When it comes to wind power, for example, the Liberal party left the discussions because they could not support the subsidies. Similarly the Danish government recently took a step back from the country’s wind power investment, because a ruling by the European Commission that would abolish the subsidy, along with falling prices on other sources is making wind power relatively expensive all of a sudden.
Renewable energy production is progressing, but the plan i svery ambitious.
At the same time, renewable energy production is certainly progressing and doing so according to schedule. Sweden and Norway have a joint scheme for meeting the green energy target of 28.4 terawatt-hours by 2020 and according to Reuters, the countries are set to deliver on track though Norwegian regulators may adjust the renewable quota downwards and while Swedish regulators adjust it upwards.
In any case the target is modest compared with Denmark, which already produces those amounts of renewable energy, with only a third of the population, according to Reuters. Yet Denmark has set the date of relying 100% on renewable energy to 2050. That makes the Swedish agreement saying 2040 seem very ambitious.
Sweden phases out fossil fuels in attempt to run completely off renewable energy Sweden’s prime minister announced his country will work towards becoming ‘one of the first fossil fuel-free welfare states of the world’, Independent, 25 May 16 Samuel Osborne @SamuelOsborne93 Renewables account for over half of Sweden’s energy, while the UK has one of the lowest renewable energy shares in Europe.
In 2015, Sweden’s prime minister announced his country will work towards becoming “one of the first fossil fuel-free welfare states of the world,” in a speech to the UN General Assembly.
Between 2013 and 2014, 51.1 per cent of Sweden’s energy needs were met by renewables, according to data from Eurostat and the Renewable Energy Directive.
As the chart by Statista shows, [on original] Sweden’s renewable energy share (RES) was larger than that of many other European nations. ……http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/sweden-phases-out-fossil-fuels-in-attempt-to-run-completely-off-renewable-energy-a7047306.html?utm_content=bufferb00d8&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer
Vattenhall nuclear corporation in financial trouble, opposes nuclear risk premium, seeks to abolish Swedish tax
* Plan ‘disproportionate’ to utilities’ economic strength
* Nuclear, hydro taxes in Sweden should be abolished
The CEO of Swedish utility Vattenfall, which has large stakes in Germany’s Brunsbuttel and Krummel nuclear plants, said the additional amount German nuclear power producers would have to pay for decommissioning and spent fuel storage under a proposed plan is “disproportionate to the economic strength of the utilities.”
The German Commission on the Review of the Financing of the Nuclear Phaseout, or KFK, recommended to the German government that nuclear utilities pay a so-called risk premium of Eur23.3 billion ($26.4 billion) into a fund for decommissioning reactors and final storage of spent fuel, which would be administered by the state.
That payment would be on top of the almost Eur40 billion in provisions that utilities have set aside to finance decommissioning and storage.
……NUCLEAR TAX Turning to its Swedish nuclear operations, Hall again called on the government to abolish the capacity tax on nuclear power. The tax is based on the amount of electricity reactors can generate, not on actual generation.
Hall and other Swedish nuclear utility executives have said that the tax, coupled with low electricity prices, is making nuclear power unprofitable. As a result, Vattenfall plans to shut two reactors ahead of the end of their technical lifetimes………http://www.platts.com/latest-news/electric-power/stockholm/vattenfall-ceo-says-germanys-proposed-nuclear-26430524
Julian Assange arbitrarily detained by Sweden and the UK, UN expert panel finds United Nations Human Rights Office GENEVA (5 February 2016) – WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been arbitrarily detained by Sweden and the United Kingdom since his arrest in London on 7 December 2010, as a result of the legal action against him by both Governments, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention said today.
In a public statement, the expert panel called on the Swedish and British authorities to end Mr. Assange’s deprivation of liberty, respect his physical integrity and freedom of movement, and afford him the right to compensation (Check the statement: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=17012&LangID=E)
Mr. Assange, detained first in prison then under house arrest, took refuge in Ecuador’s London embassy in 2012 after losing his appeal to the UK’s Supreme Court against extradition to Sweden, where a judicial investigation was initiated against him in connection with allegations of sexual misconduct. However, he was not formally charged.
“The Working Group on Arbitrary Detention considers that the various forms of deprivation of liberty to which Julian Assange has been subjected constitute a form of arbitrary detention,” said Seong-Phil Hong, who currently heads the expert panel.
The experts also found that the detention was arbitrary because Mr. Assange was held in isolation at Wandsworth Prison, and because a lack of diligence by the Swedish Prosecutor’s Office in its investigations resulted in his lengthy loss of liberty.
The Working Group established that this detention violates Articles 9 and 10 of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, and Articles 7, 9(1), 9(3), 9(4), 10 and 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
Check the Working Group’s Opinion on Julian Assange’s case (No. 54/2015), adopted in December: http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Issues/Detention/A.HRC.WGAD.2015.docx
NOTE TO EDITORS:
The Opinions of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention are legally-binding to the extent that they are based on binding international human rights law, such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). The WGAD has a mandate to investigate allegations of individuals being deprived of their liberty in an arbitrary way or inconsistently with international human rights standards, and to recommend remedies such as release from detention and compensation, when appropriate.
The binding nature of its opinions derives from the collaboration by States in the procedure, the adversarial nature of is findings and also by the authority given to the WGAD by the UN Human Rights Council. The Opinions of the WGAD are also considered as authoritative by prominent international and regional judicial institutions, including the European Court of Human Rights.
No release in sight despite UN panel decision. Julian Assange: ‘sweet’ victory soured by British and Swedish rejection Founding WikiLeaks founder is being arbitrarily detained at Ecuador embassy, Guardian, Esther Addley,Owen Bowcott,David Crouch in Gothenberg, andJessica Elgot A UN panel may have found that Julian Assange is subject to “arbitrary detention” and called for him to be allowed to walk free, but the WikiLeaks founder remains exactly where he has been for the past 44 months – inside Ecuador’s London embassy and locked in a three-nation war of words.
Britain and Sweden immediately rejected the UN report, which declared that Assange had been “arbitrarily detained” since his arrest in 2010 and during his lengthy stay in the embassy, where he sought asylum in June 2012. The British foreign secretary, Philip Hammond, described the findings as “ridiculous” and the Australian as a “fugitive from justice”.
However, the panel’s findings, leaked on Thursday and published in full on Friday morning, were a welcome victory for Assange, and a moment he intended to savour fully. At 4.01pm he emerged on to the balcony of the west Londonembassy to greet a crowd of several hundred supporters and journalists, pausing first, just briefly, to glance at the sky he has rarely seen for more than three years.
“How sweet it is,” said Assange, holding aloft a copy of the UN report while supporters shouted: “We love you, Julian!” It had been, he said, “a victory of historical importance”, and a decision reached after a process to which both Britain and Sweden had made submissions. “They lost. UK lost; Sweden lost.”
The Swedish government, however, has insisted the report changes nothing, and that it cannot interfere in an independent prosecutor’s ongoing attempt to extradite Assange for questioning over an allegation of rape dating from 2010, which he denies.
Meanwhile, for Ecuador – the Australian’s (mostly) willing host – the findings meant it was time for the two countries to allow Assange to walk free, and to compensate both him and them for the lengthy period he has been holed up in one of its few rooms……
After exhausting all his legal options in the UK and Sweden some time ago, there is no question that the report represents a boost for Assange’s legal team.
Reaching their conclusion by a three-to-one majority after a fifth member recused herself, the panel called on the Swedish and British authorities to end Assange’s “deprivation of liberty”, respect his physical integrity and freedom of movement, and offer him compensation.
Assange, they found, had been unable “to access the full-intended benefit” of the asylum status granted by Ecuador, and “the continuing and disproportionate denial to him of such access … had become cumulatively harsh and disproportionate”.
In particular, the panel offered an excoriating critique of Sweden’s prosecution process, which they said had been in a state of “indefinite procrastination”. With Quito and Stockholm still unable to agree on arrangements to allow Swedish prosecutors access to the London embassy, Assange has yet to be interviewed over the alleged offences. Britain said on Thursday it was “deeply frustrated” by the deadlock.
But for all Assange’s jubilation, he remains in the embassy, the extradition warrant still stands, and Britain and Sweden remain adamant that the report changes nothing.
Assange also remains fearful of a potential future extradition to the US, where a secret grand jury has been looking into whether to prosecute him over WikiLeak’s publishing activities……..
the former chair of the UN working group, Mads Andenas, defended its finding, saying: “There is no doubt that the normal course of action for the Swedish authorities would have been to interview Assange in London. The extradition request was disproportionate…….http://www.theguardian.com/media/2016/feb/05/julian-assange-sweet-victory-soured-by-british-and-swedish-rejection
Nuclear tax and low prices continue to impact Vattenfall, World Nuclear News, 04 February 2016 Swedish utility Vattenfall has announced a loss of SEK19.8 billion ($2.4 billion) in 2015, its third consecutive annual loss. It attributed this partly to continued low electricity prices and unprofitable Swedish nuclear power reactors…….
Vattenfall CEO Magnus Hall said, “The major challenge in 2015 continued to be the impact that today’s very low electricity prices have on Vattenfall’s profitability and the valuation of our assets. Unfortunately, combined with new regulatory requirements, this led to further write-downs, mainly on the values of Swedish nuclear power and German lignite in the summer.”
He added, “Continued falling prices and a nuclear tax corresponding to SEK0.07 per kilowatt-hour have put Swedish nuclear power in a critical situation…….http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/C-Nuclear-tax-and-low-prices-continue-to-impact-Vattenfall-0402164.html
Sweden’s Oskarshamn 1 and 2 reactor units to close World Nuclear News, 14 October 2015 German utility Eon has decided that units 1 and 2 of the Oskarshamn nuclear power plant in Sweden will be shut down permanently. Unit 3 is unaffected by the decision, which was announced today by OKG AB, of which the EOn group is the major shareholder…..The announcement followed an extraordinary shareholders’ meeting held earlier today and is in line with the “policy decision” EOn communicated in July. According to that policy, EOn said unit 1 would close between 2017 and 2019 and unit 2 by 2020……
There will be no future investments at unit 2 and the reactor will not be restarted. Operation of unit 1 will proceed in accordance with the established plan, meaning a decision on its shutdown will be made when the time schedule for the decommissioning phase has been prepared. The exact date when the unit will be permanently shut down is thus not yet established……
Earlier this month, the European Court of Justice ruled that Sweden can continue to tax nuclear power production, deciding that the levy does not fall within the scope of two European Council Directives and is therefore a national, rather than European Commission, matter. OKG AB had first contested the tax in 2009 in the Swedish courts….
Court leaves Swedish nuclear tax unchanged, World Nuclear News, 1 Oct 15 Sweden can continue to tax nuclear power production following a ruling in the government’s favour by Europe’s highest court. The European Court of Justice’s seventh chamber decided that the tax does not fall within the scope of two European Council Directives and is therefore a national, rather than European Commission, matter.
OKG AB first contested the levy in 2009 in the Swedish courts, which in October 2013 sought the EU’s preliminary ruling. The company, which turns 50 this year, owns and operates three nuclear power units – Oskarshamn 1, 2 and 3 – which together account for 10% of total electricity generation in Sweden.
The company announced yesterday that it will hold an extraordinary shareholders’ meeting on 14 October to reach a decision on closing units 1 and 2. German EOn and Finnish Fortum own, respectively, 54.5% and 45.5% of the shares in OKG.
According to lobby group Swedenergy, a ruling in the company’s favour could have removed an annual cost of about 4.6 billion kronor ($540 million) for the country’s nuclear industry since the Swedish government increased the tax by 17% from 1 August.
The court document, published today on its website, says that levying a tax on the thermal power of nuclear reactors is not within the scope of Council Directive 2003/96/EC of 27 October 2003 that restructures the Community framework for the taxation of energy products and electricity. Nor is the tax an excise duty for the purposes of Council Directive 92/12/EEC of 25 February 1992 on general arrangements for, and the holding and movement of, products subject to excise duty……http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/NP-Court-leaves-Swedish-nuclear-tax-unchanged-1101501.html
Flouting Nuclear Drone Ban in Sweden Will Land You in Jail, Bloomberg, Jesper Starn, 18 Sep 15,
No-fly zones start Oct. 15 to protect national security
Swedish police focus on tackling pilots on the ground
The Nordic region’s biggest producer of atomic energy will from Oct. 15 add nuclear plants to a list of sites including airports and hospitals with no-fly zones in an effort to preserve national security. If caught, drone pilots face as long as 6 months behind bars, according to the Swedish police.
Sweden is tightening its rules amid growing international concern about the security threat posed by drones, which have buzzed French nuclear reactors, landed on the White House lawn and even crashed into the stands at this month’s U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York. While France is backing research into tracking and destroying illegal unmanned craft, Sweden is opting to pursue the pilots on the ground……
Greenpeace flew a piloted paraglider over Ringhals in 2013, dropping balloons on the roof of one of the reactor buildings, according to Vattenfall.
While environmental activists have parasailed, hurdled fences and climbed buildings at Swedish nuclear plants in attempts to demonstrate poor security, seaweed and jellyfish have been more effective in cutting output by blocking flows of cooling water.
- Flying a drone over banned areas would void any form of insurance to cover damages caused by the craft, according to Claes Wahlund, the chairman of the Swedish Model Airplane Association.“Flying over a nuclear power plant is not a hobby,” he said by phone on Thursday. “Without insurance, pilots could really be in deep trouble.”Illegal drone flights near Swedish airports forced air traffic to halt at least 10 times this year, Ulf Wallin, spokesman for Swedavia AB, the manager of 10 of the nation’s airports, said Thursday by phone. Two Lithuanian men that flew a drone over a military airport in Lidkoeping, Sweden, in May were fined 2,000 kronor ($240) each, Swedish news service TT reported.
- While Ringhals views any breach of the no-fly zone as a police matter, it’s still assessing ways of detecting drones, Staalnacke said, without being more specific.Under existing law, anyone who destroys a drone, even the police, would be liable to pay the owner to replace it, police spokesman Fuxborg said.Ringhals and Forsmark, another plant owned by Vattenfall on Sweden’s east coast, were granted a temporary flight ban from Sept. 7 until the permanent no-fly zone takes effect Oct. 15. EON SE’s Oskarshamn reactor in the southeast also gets the permanent ban from Oct. 15, Emmy Davidsson, a spokeswoman for the plant, said Tuesday by phone. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-09-17/flouting-nuclear-drone-ban-in-sweden-will-soon-land-you-in-jail
Nuclear Shutdowns Are Leaving Vattenfall’s Bond Investors Cold , Bloomberg, Jesper Starn , 21 May 15 A jump in power prices hasn’t been able to lift Vattenfall AB bonds as investors worry the Swedish utility will write down more nuclear assets.
While Nordic power prices have risen from record lows after Vattenfall said it would close its two oldest reactors, yield spreads on the utility’s bonds are little changed. The closing plans instead directed attention to the poor Nordic market outlook for investors who had focused on Vattenfall’s woes in Germany, according to Ebba Lindahl, an SEB AB analyst.
“We see an increased risk of smaller cash flows from nuclear generation in the future and further write downs of assets that will not be fully compensated by the increase in power prices,” she said in a phone interview…….
A surge in renewable energy output in Nordic region, coupled with demand still below 2008-levels, has pushed power prices so low that the once-steady cash cow of nuclear production has become a liability.
The company is majority owner of seven reactors in Sweden and also owns thermal coal, lignite and gas units in Germany, which are poorly suited to the European Union’s aim for a transition to low-emission energy systems, according to Ingvar Mattsson, a senior analyst at Swedbank AB.
Vattenfall’s plans to close the two reactors early “reflects a tough market situation with low power prices, and thus a lower valuation of nuclear assets,” he said by phone. “Vattenfall is also obviously exposed to political risks in both Germany and Sweden.” http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-05-20/nuclear-shutdowns-are-leaving-vattenfall-s-bond-investors-cold
Vattenfall: We are not interested in new nuclear power http://sverigesradio.se/sida/artikel.aspx?programid=2054&artikel=6156063 lördag 2 maj kl 15Vattenfall’s new President and CEO, Magnus Hall, a former lobbyist for the nuclear power industry, says it is no longer possible to build new nuclear power stations in Sweden, unless the state pays.
The business community in Sweden is no longer interested in building new nuclear power. At least not if it has to pay, thinks Magnus Hall. The ongoing nuclear projects in Finland and the UK have cracked all his calculations and the Vattenfall chief does not believe there is not sufficient profitability in new reactors without state support.
Magnus Hall, who was formerly chairman of Industrial Power, a lobby organization that wanted to build new nuclear power for electricity-intensive industries, has thus changed his position today.
“Yes, I have enough, actually, because I think it has become so clear that it is the state that dictates the terms for nuclear power. Therefore, the state also take responsibility for it, and it is also linked to the infrastructure of a country, says Hall to Swedish Radio News.
Last week, the Swedish state-owned energy company announced it will cut 1,000 jobs and close two of its reactors earlier than expected due to a fall in profits. Lower energy prices and lower production levels have affected Vattenfall’s results.
Sweden to speed up nuclear reactors closure The Local, 28 Apr 2015 Sweden’s state-owned energy group Vattenfall on Tuesday said it planned to shut down two nuclear reactors in 2018 and 2010, up to seven years earlier than expected. Vattenfall said reactors 1 and 2 at the Ringhals plant in south-west Sweden were too costly to keep in production until 2025 as previously planned.
“Ringhals 1 and 2 may be closed down between the years 2018 and 2020 instead of, as previously announced, around 2025,” Vattenfall said in a statement.
“The reason is declining profitability and increased costs,” it said……The Swedish group has been struggling to improve profits for several years, suffering from weak demand and plunging electricity prices………http://www.thelocal.se/20150428/sweden-speeds-up-nuclear-reactors-closure
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
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