Photo: Flickr, CC
You Don't Need a Weatherman to Know...
Sweden's Enterprise and Energy Minister Maud Olofsson announced that 2,000 new wind turbines will be built in the in the Scandinavian country over the next 10 years. This would add a projected 10 terawatt hours (TWh) per year of renewable energy generation to the country's grid, which is already very low-carbon because it gets most of its power from nuclear and hydro."Sweden has extremely good prospects for rapidly increasing the production of renewable energy, especially from the burning of biofuels, cogeneration plants and windpower," Olofsson wrote in a newspaper column.
Sweden wants about 50% of its electricity to come from renewable sources by 2020 (this would mean more wind, but also more solar and biofuels).
Storage is THE Problem with Renewables
The biggest challenge that I can think of is that the country doesn't have enough hydropower capacity to act as backup for when the wind doesn't blow and the sun doesn't shine, and as storage when there's a surplus of wind (mostly at night when demand is low). Maybe a deal with Norway, which has about 4 times more hydro, could help stabilize the grid and provide enough "on-demand" power. But Norway's grid might not have enough buffer capacity to do that... Otherwise, Sweden will either need to built more hydro (with large reservoirs for storage), more nuclear, or some natural gas power plants to act as backup. If they can avoid the gas plants, they should.
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