Solar Energy Investment Surges in Northern Europe Due to Being Cheaper than Wind Energy

published: 2020-11-20 18:30 | editor: | category: News

Northern Europe has been low-key making headways in solar energy. Such quick progress is in large part thanks to the fact that green energy now accounts for more than half of all electricity generation in Sweden and Norway. Recently, as the cost of technology and equipment drops even further, a wave of PV investment is once again surging in the market.

When it comes to solar (PV, photovoltaic) power, most people generally don’t think about northern Europe. After all, northern Europe has a high latitude and cold weather, with some regions naturally being in perpetual day or night. As PV power relies on sunlight, it naturally wouldn’t be the number one choice of power generation in the region. Indeed, hydroelectricity, wind power, and geothermal power are the primary sources of green energy in northern Europe.

So why transition to PV? As solar energy rates keep dropping in the recent 10 years, Denmark-based market analysis firm StormGeo Nena Analysis indicates that, in the future, investors and public utility companies will learn more towards PV as opposed to wind power. Once 2027 rolls around, utility-scale PV rates will be lower than rates from wind power, be it land-based or offshore.

According to Bloomberg, “electricity demand is poised to jump 35% in the next 25 years as everything from transport to factories electrify to meet climate goals, Nena said. But supply is still expected to outgrow consumption by more than 10% by the end of the decade, enabling more exports to northwest Europe.” Incidentally, COVID-19 has forced some European companies into closing, thereby lowering the continent’s electricity demand and electricity rate, meaning total renewable energy revenue will decline this year.

As interconnectors between various regions and countries become more common, the increased demand for electricity between neighboring countries has resulted in a long-term spike in wind and solar power investment. Danish renewable energy company European Energy will build a 300MW PV power station in southern Denmark, the largest in northern Europe.

Said solar farm is projected to be built between a data center whose construction is still in the planning stage and an electrical substation which serves the town of Aabenraa, located in Jutland. The plant will cost about 1 billion Danish krone (about US$159 million), break ground in early 2021, and begin operation before the year’s end.

Neighboring Denmark is Sweden, where the largest rooftop photovoltaic power station in northern Europe will soon emerge. Sweden-based logistics company Logicenters has a rooftop solar capacity totaling almost 5MW. Excess electricity generated by the rooftop panels will be injected back into the grid and sold at below-market prices.

Logicenters indicates that electricity rate of central Sweden is higher than that of northern Sweden by about 40%. The company also understands the relatively scarcity power generating equipment and electrical grid south of Dalälven. Therefore, in the future, rooftops in central and southern Sweden will be equipped with solar panels in order to meet the regions’ electricity demand in summertime.

Sweden-based solar technology firm Midsummer has also recently secured its largest order ever for solar panels. In the future, a certain factory housing in Flens kommun will have its 1,700 m2 rooftop covered with 800 Midsummer BOLD solar panels, which will yield a capacity of 157.8KW.

(Image:Flickr/SteFou! CC BY 2.0)

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