In terms of offshore wind energy, the European market is slated to experience tremendous growth. This is largely due to greater investment in wind energy projects on the European continent. Throughout Europe, government entities are making the decision to encourage the adoption of renewable energy sources. These sources include solar and wind energy. The latest concern in renewable energy production has been prompted by expanding concern regarding greenhouse gas emissions. With more money now being funneled into offshore wind projects, the market could see long overdue growth. A variety of factors could still put a damper on the growth of the offshore wind energy market; however. Among those factors is the high cost of installation along with delayed regulatory approvals.
The UK has proven to be among the largest markets for offshore wind energy in Europe during the last few years. The Energy Act of 2013 along with growing investments have assisted in leveling the cost of offshore wind energy. For the moment, Germany is slated to reveal rapid growth in this area during the next 10 years. A vast number of approved projects in addition to increased investment have assisted in the expansion of the offshore wind energy market in Germany. Numerous other regions, such as Denmark and Netherlands, are also believed to be in line for rapid growth by 2024.
Until this point, consumers have remained more familiar with the concept of solar panels as a form of alternative energy. Even so, wind energy is now rapidly becoming more commonplace as a form of viable renewable energy in Europe. For the first time, the total amount of installed capacity wind energy in Europe has now grown beyond the total capacity for coal-fueled electric power plants. Over the course of the next several years, as wind energy continues coming online, we will likely see this gap widen even more.
Sweden has also shown incredible determination to make the most of the renewable energy. Energy use in Sweden primarily involves renewable energy. This is primarily due to the country’s wealth of natural assets along with a dedicated to deploying the latest technology. The country has invested heavily in seeking alternative energy sources since the 1970’s oil crisis. In 1970, oil accounted for more than 75 percent of Swedish energy supplies. That number has since dipped to just 20 percent.
Consumer energy use in Sweden remains high. In fact, few European countries consume more energy on a per-capita basis than Sweden. Surprisingly, Swedish carbon emissions remain low, even when compared to other countries in Europe. The Swedish economy has experienced significant growth even as the country has worked to reduce emissions. This could be because more than 80 percent of electricity production in Sweden is produced by nuclear power and hydroelectric power. CHP plants, or combined heat and power plants, contribute 10 percent of the country’s electricity output. Biofuels provide the vast majority of the power for these plants.
At the same time, more and more businesses in Sweden have made the decision to invest in renewable energy. Wallenstam is a prime example of this. The company began investing in green electricity for its own operations and tenants in 2006. Several years later, Wallenstam announced it was the first company in Sweden to become entirely self-sufficient in regards to renewable energy. Several other companies in the country are now following suit. Eneas is just one of them. The market leader in Sweden and Norway has announced it is striving to provide more renewable energy.
On a global scale, wind power is now recognized as being among the most rapidly growing renewable energy source. The capacity for wind power in Sweden is now expanding quickly. In fact, the production of wind power in the country has increased dramatically since 2000. Sweden now houses more than 3,000 wind turbines. There are still challenges, however. Heavy demands on regional electricity supply grids because of fluctuating production levels along with an increasing market share for wind power are just some of those challenges. Consequently, it has become vital to expand and strengthen the electricity supply grid.
Despite these challenges, Sweden continues to make strides in its quest to achieve its goals. By the year 2040, Sweden is expected to begin producing all energy using renewable sources. Swedish regulatory officials report the country is able to tap into a variety of excellent locations for positioning land-based wind turbines. There is tremendous potential given the fact that Sweden does not have a dense population. Gradually, wind power has begun to increase in Sweden. While wind power still comprises only a small portion of the country’s overall energy production, that number has increased from nothing just a few years ago. Sweden hopes to add 17 terawatt-hours of annual renewable electricity production by the year 2030.
At the same time, Swedish electricity production companies are also contributing toward meeting those goals. The Swedish state energy company, Vattenfall, announced two years ago plans to sell off lignite operations located in Germany. According to the company, the operations were not in synch with the firm’s climate change goals.
Sweden has also recently been in negotiations with India to focus on waste-to-energy, hydropower, solar energy, and smart metering for businesses, as a way to collaborate in the energy sector. The two countries conducted bilateral meetings last year while discussing smart cities, green financing, energy-efficient mining, smart grid and energy solutions, and electro-mobility. Several Swedish energy companies have also announced they would be collaborating with Punjab Energy Development Agency.
Sweden has also launched efforts to educate consumers regarding the importance of renewable energy usage. In 2008, the country introduced a law on energy declaration. The goal of the law was to reveal the amount of energy a building consumes in relation to other buildings. Today, the scheme applies to the owners of all private homes and blocks of flats. The Swedish government has also begun investing significantly in offering information and advice about best practices for saving on energy. An energy advisor is now appointed to each of the 290 municipalities in Sweden. Residents can rely on the advisor for advice and guidance for everything from replacing windows to using low-energy lights to making the change to alternative heating systems.