Swedish Power Crunch to Worsen Without New Grids, Utility Says

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Sweden needs to start building more grids so that a power crunch in the south doesn’t spread to new demand centers in the north, according to the head of the nation’s biggest utility.

Southern Sweden is already plagued with a capacity shortage after several nuclear reactors were shut down in the past decade. Without expanding the network in the north, where several new energy hungry industrial centers are being built, that region could suffer the same fate, said Vattenfall AB Chief Executive Officer Anna Borg.

“We need to pick up the pace to be in line with the industrialization and growth taking part in the north of Sweden,” Borg said in an interview. “We cannot start any sooner than today.”

Swedish Power Crunch to Worsen Without New Grids, Utility Says

National power consumption is expected to more than double in the next 25 years as whole industries and the transport sector get electrified. Connecting new industries to the grid in the south has been limited for years and this summer the Swedish grid manager Svenska Kraftnat will be forced to halt exports to secure grid stability when reactors halt for works.

Borg, who spoke at the climate summit organized last week by U.S. President Joe Biden, welcomed the proposal by the government to cut the handling time for new grid permits in half, but says the wider good of new lines needs to be publicly recognized for projects to get more priority. She would also like to see would like to see state-owned grid manager Svenska Kraftnat get more funds and to start building new lines based on forecasts rather than actual demand.

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