2023-01-31 16:58News

31 January 2023

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OX2 receives approval for big offshore wind project from Halland county

The Swedish County Administrative Board, in accordance with the Swedish Economic Zone Act, approved the application of a big offshore wind project Galatea-Galene outside the Swedish county, Halland. OX2 will construct the offshore wind farm with investments from IKEA’s investment company, Ingka Investments. According to OX2, the farm will produce 6-7 TWh per year, which corresponds to west Sweden’s electric demand in 2030 and electricity consumption for one million households. 

Even though the county has given permission to build the project, the final decision now rests with the government. Ingka Investments and OX2 are hoping the government will approve Galatea-Galene as soon as possible, so that production can start before 2030. Galatea-Galene is one of three projects that both companies are developing. The other two are Triton and Aurora. The three projects will jointly have the potential to produce up to 38 TWh, which corresponds to roughly a quarter of Sweden's current total consumption of electricity. It is preliminarily estimated that Galatea-Galene will require an investment of SEK 40 billion, making it one of the most expensive Swedish energy projects. 

Two questions remain about the project. One is if there is a risk that the Armed Forces will object to the project and halt its development. So far, the Armed Forces have no objections to the northern part of the planned farm, but have concerns about the southern part. The second question is if Galatea-Galene will face challenges as its area overlaps with a Vattenfall wind project. Currently, there is no regulatory framework for the government to determine which project should get precedence. 

Göteborgs-Posten, Di

Big plans for hydrogen gas pipeline from Bornholm to rest of Europe

Three German system operators and Gascade, a German gas transport company, are building hydrogen gas infrastructure. Bornholm, a Danish ‘energy island’, will be the epicentrum of the infrastructure. Danish politicians have decided to make the island a collection point for 3 GW of offshore wind power that will be then transported to Zealand and Germany. 

According to Gascade, hydrogen gas must also be transported from northern to southern Europe. Therefore, Gascade has started the project “Flow - making hydrogen happen” to convert current gas pipelines from Bornholm to the rest of Europe into hydrogen gas pipelines. The pipeline will consist of three parallel gas pipes. It will be over 1100 km long and have a capacity of up to 20 GW in the long-run, depending on pressure conditions. The plan is for the pipeline to go from Bornholm over Lubmin, then down through Germany and on to both the Czech Republic and Poland and possibly also Austria and France.


Neoen signs 10-year green PPA with Coveris

French energy company Neoen has signed a 10-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with Swedish sustainable packaging company Coveris. The PPA’s price is partly based on market prices. Coveris is buying 60% of the green electricity produced at Storbrännkullen, a wind farm in Swedish counties Jämtland and Västernorrland. 

The construction of Storbrännkullen wind farm began in July 2022 and is planned to operate by the end of 2023. Storbrännkullen will have a capacity of 57.4 MW. Sweden is a key country in Neoen’s growth strategy for Northern Europe due to a predicted doubled electricity demand by 2035 in Sweden. 


Norway invited to participate the European Battery Investment 

Until now, Norway has not participated in the EU’s subsidy scheme for the battery industry. Now Norway has been invited by Germany to participate in one of two Important Projects of Common Interest (IPCEIs) on battery technology in the EU. Participating in IPCEIs allows member states to collaborate and gives the opportunity for the states to deviate from ordinary rules on state aid, meaning they can give far more subsidies to certain projects. The IPCEI Norway will be joining is about hydrogen. 

“I would say this is a breakthrough. Ever since we came into government, we have worked to get this in place, and to be completely honest, the mood and interest from the EU has been rather lukewarm”, says Norway’s Minister for Business Jan Christian Vestre (Ap). Veste believes the lukewarm atmosphere happened because Norway was not involved in the IPCEI from its launch. Moreover, Vestre believes the change in atmosphere is due to Norway’s dialogue about green transition with Berlin and Brussels. 

Norwegian actors have a demanding process ahead of them if they want their project to be considered in the scheme and eligible for support. The projects must meet the criteria of bringing something new to the battery industry and collaboration. 


Seatwirl wins right to proceed with trial in Norway

Swedish wind power company SeaTwirl won the right to proceed with testing its floating vertical-axis wind turbine in a fjord off the coast of Norway. SeaTwirl had been on track to test its unique offshore wind generation technology in early 2022, when a legal challenge mounted by a group of Norwegian anti-wind groups put its plans on hold. Nearly a year later, after a series of appeals, the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate found in favour of SeaTwirl, giving it permission to continue with planning and installation of the 1MW S2x prototype and guaranteeing an end to any further appeals.


Nilar doubles production rate of batteries 

The Swedish company Nilar manufactures next generation batteries that are refillable, safe and sustainable. By the end of February, Nilar plans to increase production rate in four more production lines, which corresponds to a doubling of the current volume. The doubling will allow Nilar to use more batteries in energy system integration projects and test systems with its partners. In 2022, Nilar started forming strategic partnerships with companies like Enequi and McEnergy that offer complete energy storage systems.  

Nilar’s CEO, Erik Oldmark, says, “The doubling of the production rate also means that we are fully in line with our long-term goals and plan for volume growth.” 


What we’re reading
  • EU plans to relax curbs on tax credits in response to ‘toxic’ US subsidies (Financial Times)

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The Nordic countries are some of the most dynamic and successful economies in the world. They are also leaders in sustainability, from renewable energy, biofuels, carbon capture and storage and the hydrogen economy, circular economy business models and battery development, the Nordics are pioneers in policy design, technology development and consumer uptake. Mundus Nordic Green News is covering this transition for the international community. Every day we curate the stories of most relevance to international businesspeople and policy experts from the flow of news. Mundus Nordic Green Indices summarise the meta-data from our daily coverage to enable easy tracking of trends. We supplement these with our own opinion pieces and commentary.