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DN Debate. The acute lack of capacity in the electrical grid – the government must act

In several parts of Sweden, there are major problems with capacity in the electricity grid, but also when it comes to access to electricity. Power shortages and long anslutningstider causing difficulties in several places, for both individuals and entire municipalities. The problems are far-reaching and threatens today the country's economic growth. This development may also counteract the energy transition to a renewable and generally make it difficult to meet the increased electricity demand which is expected next year. In order to ensure that Sweden does not fall behind, the government should appoint a committee of investigation, which takes a holistic approach to power and absorbency, and which lays the foundations for a powerfully that turns the development.

today, there is an intense debate on the electricity supply, it is probably few that have missed. During the winter storms highlighted the importance of reliable access to electricity, and the consequences that can occur when society is de-energized. If seriously there are far greater risks than the bad weather, namely kapacitetsbristen. In recent years, the problems related to a lack of capacity in the local electricity networks has become increasingly urgent, but also access to electricity.

It is also clear that the large cities, in particular Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö – the need to produce more electricity locally. In this perspective, the very important, and locally produced, cogeneration has been overlooked.

the energy companies and zero carbon Sweden described the 9 march in Today's Industry how the electrification of transport and industry are expected to increase electricity demand by over 30% in the future, including a substantial increase in population. At the same time, the electricity supplied will soon be 100 percent renewable. This requires extensive expansion of electricity generation, particularly for nuclear energy to be phased out, particularly in the north of Sweden. If the mains should be able to assist the southern parts of the country with electricity must be the expansion of the elnätskapaciteten, but also the local production of electricity, promptly facilitated. In short, we have now reached a point where national policy measures will be needed to solve the problems.

Kapacitetsbristen creates inequalities between the country's municipalities, and entire communities are at risk to take damage when companies choose to remove them due to insufficient capacity. Capacity is a key factor in modern, energy-intensive industries choose place of establishment. We have already seen several examples of companies refrain from establishing themselves in a certain municipality on the grounds that the connectivity has been bad, or anslutningstiderna for long. It is mainly the country's major cities, where kapacitetsbristen is the worst, who is troubled by this. But by and large the whole of Sweden be damaged in the long term unless we find a solution on the kapacitetsbristen.

the Importance of reliable electricity supply is also a fundamental part in the green transition, and the need is increasing as more and more parts of our lives and society is electrified. For example, the government has as an objective that Sweden in 2030 shall go over to a fossil-free vehicle fleet. Several different fuels will be needed in the transition and it is clear that the electric roads and vehicles will be central.

Facing a dramatic increase in the number of electric vehicles, both heavy and light, there will be high demands for reliable electricity supply. Kapacitetsbristen risk, unfortunately, to complicate this conversion, then the increased electrification imposes high requirements on the capacity.

the Government increasingly need to act from a holistic perspective and avoid short-term decisions which are liable to aggravate the situation. In order to ensure the long-term policy decisions that take into account the power system in its entirety, it is essential that more actors in the power system – from electricity generators to the network company and electricity consumers – involved in the process.

Current elnätsreglering has several advantages, including that it is supposed to protect consumers against sharp price increases. Future elnätsreglering need to allow the development of business models for increased flexibility in electricity networks. Energiöverenskommelsen stipulates that the regulations on the electricity networks should be developed to ensure that the networks are built out in a cost effective manner and enables the emergence of new products and services. Elnätinfrastrukturen plays an important role in order to meet the kapacitetsbristen, but with the current low levels of investment, the development will be too slow.

the Permitting is another problem that must be addressed by the policy. According to a report by the consulting company Pöyry on behalf energy companies from 2018 can the permit process take as long as 15 years. Notwithstanding the reasons is this slowness a direct threat to Sweden's competitiveness. The policy need to agree on effective measures to shorten the permitting of new pipelines and solutions that promote efterfrågeflexibilitet, for example, ellager.

Energiöverenskommelsen also lays down the need for socially efficient investment in new electricity generation. It is also clear that the large cities, in particular Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö – the need to produce more electricity locally. In this perspective, the very important, and locally produced, cogeneration has been overlooked. Local cogeneration of heat and power has great advantages, not least because it can quickly be established in connection to the growing cities and play an important role in the management of kapacitetstoppar. Cogeneration is also an important regulating power now when the role of nuclear power is decreasing, while the share of renewable energy production increases. The development, however, goes in the wrong direction.

A long-term solution will require both small - and large-scale solutions for both the production and regards supply-side. The government needs to seriously address kapacitetsbristen in the country's municipalities. The question is acute, and we find ourselves in a vulnerable position.

the Government should set up a kapacitetsutredning that takes a holistic approach and has the task of seeking consensus over the old and new blockgränser.

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