Why this is important to Wisconsin businesses: Although there are already many European companies active in the market, there is still room for innovative Wisconsin suppliers.
Sweden is the seventh-largest economy in the European Union, and its GDP grew by 2.1 percent in 2016. The renewable energy sector is one of the most important Swedish industries, and accounted for over half of Sweden’s energy in 2016.
The implementation of green technologies has enabled Sweden to become the first country in Europe to meet the renewable energy targets set by the EU for 2020. The most important domestic energy sources are water (47.1%) and nuclear power, followed by wind power (10.1%), biofuels and solar power.
Sweden’s ambitious aim is to produce electricity entirely from renewable sources by 2040. Therefore, wind energy is being heavily promoted. At the end of 2016, wind power plants with an overall output of 6,500 MW were in operation.
Although the expansion of wind power plants showed a small downturn recently, a new upswing is expected due to the extension of green certificates’ trade and the development of new expansion plans. According to forecasts, wind power production is expected to rise to 20 TWh by 2020. An example project is a wind park south of the island Öland in Södra Midsjöbanken, where the German company E.ON plans to install 300 wind power plants offshore, with total output of 2.1 GW. Due to the volatility of wind energy, excess capacity in the electrical grid is needed, and Sweden plans to invest €1.4 billion in the modernization and expansion of the grid to allow for this.
These positive growth prospects, particularly in the wind power sector, offer prime opportunities for Wisconsin renewable energy companies with high-quality products and innovative technologies. Although there are already many European companies active in the market, there is still room for innovative Wisconsin suppliers. In particular demand are on-shore wind power and transmission grid solutions and wind turbines. Energy storage solutions will also become more important in the coming years.
In 2016, Wisconsin firms exported goods and services worth $103 million to Sweden. A chief driver was highly sophisticated electrical products. In all, Sweden imported electrical machinery and equipment worth $18 billion in 2016. Statistics for the renewable energy sector are not specifically available.
Since Sweden is a small country, most relevant trade fairs relevant for its energy sector take place in Germany or Denmark. One good possibility is the WindEnergy Hamburg Summit (www.windenergyhamburg.com), which will bring together stakeholders from across the wind energy value chain, especially from northern Europe, in September 2018 in Hamburg.