Growth of wind power in the Nordic region – a look at the drivers
In this article Vicky Kenrick from international recruitment consultancy, Allen & York, explores the reasons for this surge in potential by examining electricity and turbine prices and the state of the investment market, before concluding with an overview of the job opportunities being created.
Wind power is the world's single fastest-growing source of energy, and work is fuelled by an increasing number of projects within the UK, France, Germany, Southern Europe and the Nordic region requiring engineers, developers, planners and Business Development professionals. Growth in this market is fuelled by rapid technological development enabling large-scale energy production at a competitive cost per produced kWh.
At Allen & York, we have responded to a growth in demand for wind professionals within the Nordic region, and have specifically witnessed an expansion within the wind power market in Sweden. Swedish wind power is a very young but rapidly growing market. Installed capacity has grown by close to 40 per cent between 2006 and 2010 and a continued high pace of production is expected in coming years. Having so far escaped the worst of the euro zone's economic crisis, Sweden saw its wind-energy capacity rise by about 744MW last year and around 6.1TWh of Sweden's total electricity was generated by wind in 2011, which is an increase of over 70 per cent on 2012 figures.
Sweden's wind resources, low population density and availability of balancing sources of energy provide great growth potential for further advancement into the wind sector. The growth and profitability of Swedish wind power drives an increasingly active market, attracting energy producers, developers, utilities, and financial stakeholders; which as a result leads to an increase of job opportunities within Sweden and the wider Nordic region.
Electricity prices in the Nordic region have been steadily increasing over the past ten years, with an annual growth rate of 15 per cent. Impacting this growth rate in the future will be energy consumption, commodity prices and carbon emission pricing.
It is predicted that economic recovery will bring increased electricity consumption, and combined with increased global commodity prices and political initiatives surrounding carbon emission rights this could put renewed pressure on Nordic electricity prices. It is new energy production capacity, specifically from wind power which could counteract this increase in electricity costs. In addition further integration with other European markets via new cables could provide opportunities for the export of carbon-free energy to countries with higher electricity prices and more difficult preconditions for such production.