The Barents Region reached a new wind power record in 2013, generating over 1,600 GWh, figures from Patchwork Barents show. Production growth for the whole region accounted to more than twenty-five percent.
Thirteen years earlier, wind energy presented a very different reality. In 2000, electricity generated by wind farms in the Barents Region made up less than 40 GWh. This means that, over the past thirteen years, wind power production has doubled itself nearly forty times.
The highest production of wind energy in 2013 was registered in Västerbotten County, with 541 GWh. One of the most powerful wind farms in the county is the Stor-Rotliden wind farm in Åsele municipality. The wind farm has forty turbines with an installed capacity of 78 MW.
Production was second highest in Finnish Lapland, with 303 GWh. The county with the biggest production growth was Northern Ostrobothnia (145 %).
Full blast in Sweden There are good reasons to anticipate further growth in Barents wind energy, and largely thanks to Sweden. An ambitious energy policy is going to make Swedish wind power “a large and important renewable energy source besides hydropower and bioenergy”, the Swedish Parliament (Riksdag) writes.
The co-operation of Swedish Energy Intensive Industries informs that wind power currently accounts for six percent of Sweden’s total electricity production (2013). This is already 2.5 percent more than the share in 2010.
Sweden was listed 8th in Europe by installed wind power capacity, according to the Global Wind Energy Council’s statistical overview for 2013. There are already over 3000 wind turbines currently installed and active in the country, and many more under development.
Despite low energy prices, Sweden invested a record-high twelve billion SEK ($ 1.5 billion) in wind power in 2014, Vindkraftnytt recently reported.
The Riksdag aims to reach a production level of 30 TWh by 2020, of which 20 TWh on land and 10TWh offshore. An important milestone in this process is the Markbygden project in Norrbotten county. The project will install a total of 1101 wind turbines by 2020, as previously reported.
There are already several wind parks in the Barents Region, like this one outside Kiruna in northern Sweden. (Photo: Thomas Nilsen)
A “wind-wind” situation for Finland and Norway 2013 was also a record year for wind energy in Northern Finland. Patchwork Barents data shows that Lapland and Northern Ostrobothnia produced a total of 533 GWh of wind electricity. This figure indicates a significant growth of 73.6 percent for Northern Finland.
Northern Norway had a growth of 16.7 percent. The four wind farms currently installed in the region – Fakken, Havøygavlen, Kjøllefjord and Nygårdsfjellet – generated a total of 420 GWh.
The Russian part of the Barents Region currently lags behind on wind energy. Despite good potential for wind power, and the fact that several monitoring projects are already in process, there is no commercial wind power production in Russia. The Ministry of Energy underlines that due to vast reserves of conventional energy resources like coal, oil and gas, development of renewable energy has been given little attention. Russia has yet to make its way up on the wind market.
See below the development of wind power generation in the Barents Region since the year 2000. Go to Patchwork Barents for more data on renewable energy.