🇸🇪 European Energy calls for a legislative change in Sweden for solar parks

April 12, 2024
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The Swedish Land and Environment Court of Appeal has rejected European Energy’s plans for a solar park in Svedberga outside of Helsingborg. European Energy looks to Swedish lawmakers for a rapid change in the law for large-scale solar power still to be viable in Sweden.

 

European Energy is calling for a rapid change in Swedish law after the Land and Environment Court of Appeal has rejected European Energy’s plans for a solar park in Svedberga outside Helsingborg. The verdict risks severely limiting the possibilities of developing large-scale solar power on agricultural land in Sweden.

“The decision pulls back the carpet not only for our project but for many other planned solar parks in Sweden. In our submission to the court, we have clearly shown that the solar park can coexist with agriculture and does not threaten food security,” explains Peter Braun, country manager for European Energy in Sweden.

“We have investigated alternative sites for localization and believe that the solar park constitutes a significant social interest through the large supply of new green electricity. Unfortunately, the court has chosen to ignore these arguments completely or partially.”

The Land and Environment Court of Appeal takes a clear position in favor of the importance of protecting conventional farming on agricultural land. The solar park would have generated a large amount of green electricity for an electricity area that already suffers from a major power shortage. Moreover, the project has been designed to enable the continued combined use of the land, for example by growing vegetables and grassland. Despite this, the Court considers that European Energy has not demonstrated that “the installation provides a sufficient social benefit”.

“Southern Sweden, especially Skåne, has a large imbalance between electricity production and use. Skåne’s power commission has identified solar power as an important energy source to achieve the goal of 50 percent self-sufficiency in electricity by 2030,” Braun says.

“In addition, the EU has expressed that renewable electricity production should be a predominant social interest. The court has with this decision not only rejected new green electricity equivalent to the annual consumption of 35.000 homes but are also risking a complete stop to large scale solar farms in Sweden.”

European Energy has read the judgment and will conduct a detailed analysis. This will be done before European Energy makes any decisions on the continuation of a possible solar park project in Svedberga. However, with the court’s decision today, European Energy will begin advocating to change the Environmental Code to allow solar parks on agricultural land.

Braun assumes that Swedish politicians at various levels will support the industry for such a development.

“The government has shown that it is possible to quickly investigate and propose legislative changes that facilitate nuclear power. The same should be possible for solar power,” Braun says.

Svedberga solar park was approved in late 2022 by the Land and Environment Court in Växjö in Sweden but the decision was appealed by the County Board in Skane and the Nature Conservation Society in Helsingborg to the Land and Environment Court of Appeal, which published their decision the 3rd of April 2024.

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Originally published on 3 April by European Energy.

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