Legal preconditions for wind power implementation in Sweden and Denmark
Abstract: Swedish energy policy relies heavily on the promotion of renewable energy resources, in particular wind energy and in 2002 the Swedish Government adopted a national planning goal of a yearly wind power generation of 10 TWh by 2015, which implies a substantial increase from the current 0.6 TWh level. The main purpose of this study is to analyse relevant functions of the Swedish law with reference to the im-plementation of wind power; the overarching question at issue being in what respects the law impedes respectively facilitates the development of wind power, and to compare the results from the Swedish analysis with the corresponding functions in Danish law, and b) to present some implications for the choice between different legislative measures to meet the Swedish wind power planning goal. The results are based on in-depth studies of relevant legal rules and case law, and the overall indi-cations are: a) on one hand, that several of the Swedish legal rules in connection with the overarching management and use of land and water areas are vaguely formulated and provide an extensive room for discretion, which makes the outcomes unpredictable and increase the uncertainties associated with wind power investments, b) on the other hand, that certain specific rules regarding the location of the wind-mills, together with the requirement to objectively assess alternative sites for the installation have shown to seriously hamper the establishment of windmills in Sweden, c) that the strong support for the munici-pal self- governance in connection with the system for physical planning in Sweden implies that great stress is laid on the existence of territorial plans for wind power, which in turn implies that windmills are unlikely to be established without municipal consent, and finally d) that the installation of windmills on Swedish territory may require as many as five different permits, which imply time-consuming (and hence costly) processes with unpredictable outcomes. The results from the analysis of the corresponding Danish system reveal a quite different situation; the specific and precise regulations regarding the installation of windmills in Denmark imply a lot less room for discretion which reduce the uncertainty in connection with the investment decision. Moreover, that the vertically integrated planning system in Denmark greatly enhances the possibilities to implement national planning objectives on the regional, municipal and local level.
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