Sweden to build 2,000 wind turbines

This is yet another move to boost wind energy produced in the country as the government aims to have a output of renewable energy amounting to 50 percent of energy needs by 2020.

Last month the Swedish Energy Agency approved an 14-million-euro investment grant to build the world’s biggest wave power plant on the Swedish west coast.

The new wind farms will increase wind energy production by 25 terawatt hours by 2020. That can be compared with a total electricity production from Swedish nuclear power last year of almost twice as much, the TT newswire wrote. The minister also pointed out that Sweden today has the EU’s highest proportion of renewable energy production.

Last year some 8 billion kronor (€770 million, $1.1 billion) were invested in 200 wind turbines with a combined capacity of circa 500 megawatts. The investments in wind energy are more than twice as large as during the previous year and the expansion considerably faster than in many other countries.

Last month Norway announced plans to build the world’s most powerful wind turbine, hoping the new technology will increase the profitability of costly offhsore wind farms.

Swedish wind power has undeniable wind in its sails as new wind farms are being set up in a faster pace than ever before, despite tumbling electricity prices and global economic crisis.

“It’s very positive and a sign of strength for the entire industry that continues to attract very large investments and grow rapidly in the worst downturn in modern times”, said Mattias Rapp, chief executive officer at Swedish Wind Energy, a trade organisation that looks after the financial interests of its members.

Behind the new investments are a wide range of organisations, from large companies listed on the stock exchange to independents farmers.

Sweden last year announced plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent from 1990 levels by making renewable energy account for about half of the nation’s energy by 2020.

During December’s climate summit in Copenhagen Sweden was among those nine European countries signing a deal to develop a massive offshore wind power grid in the North Sea and Irish Sea. The countries involved aim to devise a work plan in early 2010 to coordinate offshore infrastructure development.