The findings on Sweden are contrasted with Norway. Though interviews and an analysis of public documents, this report:
• Reviews the current framework, ambitions and progress of wind power expansion in Sweden;
• Reviews the state of knowledge on the environmental effects of wind power development;
• Analyzes how environmental considerations are addressed in the concession process under the current framework.
To meet the goals and requirements of the EU’s Renewable Energy Directive (RES), the Swedish government has embarked on an ambitious project to expand the country’s renewable energy production. Sweden’s commitment to the RES is that by 2020, 49% of total energy consumption will be supplied by energy generated from renewable sources. Wind power is the renewable energy source that is currently expanding most rapidly in Sweden, and the government has prioritized its expansion above other sources of renewable energy.
In Sweden the goal of expanding wind energy production was part of the Climate and Energy Bill of 2009. The expansion of wind power is one of several measures intended to reduce emissions in order to limit climate change. At the same time, however, wind power developments often have negative impacts on the landscape and biodiversity, and cause noise pollution.
To a certain degree, the expansion of wind power implies a dual environmental challenge in that it is seen as a necessary component in reducing GHG emissions and climate change, at the same time as it negatively affects other environmental objectives, such as the preservation of landscapes and biodiversity.
To ensure policy coherence and minimize conflicts in implementation in order to achieve different societal goals, such considerations should ideally be balanced in governance arrangements for implementation and goal achievement. The main purposes of this report are to examine the policies and institutional framework that guide the ongoing expansion of land-based wind power in Sweden, and to assess the extent to which it is coherent with environmental considerations.
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