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Halland needs more electricity production – fast!

This summer, electricity costs have reached all-time high, and many people worry about how it will be this winter. Any additions that can be quickly added to the electricity networks can help to slow down the price increase. At the same time, the use of electricity is increasing both in households and in companies. Many Falkenberg companies report increased electricity demand to be able to develop, such as Gekås, which has inaugurated 117 new charging stations. Several large local companies face multimillion costs from the increase in electricity prices and see the electricity shortage as a problem for growth. More electricity production is needed – and quickly. This means that long lead times do not solve the problem. The fastest way to increase production is to build more wind power in places where it is suitable and easy. Where the wind is good and where the construction and management investments can be conducted quickly. As I understand the municipal government, this has been realized. The chairman of the municipal board, Per Svensson, has talked about the importance of building wind power where it is appropriate and of building modern with higher plants that provide significantly higher production.

A good example of just that is the sea wind farm Kattegatt Offshore, 6-7 km outside Falkenberg. It is approved by the municipality and planned in an area designated in the overall plan and is marked for energy use in Sweden's new maritime plans. The electricity connection takes place on land and therefore does not require any socially expensive and time-consuming investments in offshore connection. The park is planned to deliver enough for 50,000 electrically heated villas to the residents of Falkenberg and Halland who want lower electricity bills. What is needed is a new permit for new taller and more efficient works – completely in line with the new direction of the municipal management.

Since last spring, we at Wind Sweden have offered the municipal management information about Kattegatt Offshore. We regret the disinterest and note instead spread of populist images of the wind farm. With word choices and associations that have nothing to do with facts, they scare up the population completely unnecessarily. Municipal residents deserve a factual picture of what wind power looks like and what it can mean for the municipality, the business community and household electricity prices.

Falkenberg's municipal politicians often emphasize that the city has a fine history of investing in renewable and fossil-free energy. But new statistics from the Swedish Energy Agency show that Halland's renewable electricity production is decreasing – from 1.16 TWh in 2015 to 1.04 TWh in 2024. That production needs to at least double to meet electricity demand, according to the agency. But when no new permits are given for new and more efficient wind power, the result is that less electricity is produced when old plants are taken out of use – a development that goes in the wrong direction.

Falkenberg's renewable halo slips on the slant, but it can be remedied. Reconsider the decision to limit the heights for Kattegat Offshore and wind power will quickly be able to contribute both more independent, secure electricity and a slowdown in electricity bills while we can all look our grandchildren in the eyes when they ask what we did for their future.

Jeanette Lindeblad

CEO and founder of Falkenberg's company Wind Sweden

Published in Hallands Nyheter 2022-09-08

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