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In Sweden, wind farms and warplanes battle for airspace

Several wind farm projects in Sweden are under threat due to the government’s decision to reserve more airspace for its armed forces, according to two companies and an industry lobby group. In November, the government said its air force had labelled more airspace as low-flying zones in order to protect its operations from the expanding wind power industry. The move, to avoid planes colliding with wind turbines, has created uncertainty for a number of planned wind farms.

Sweden’s largest utility, Vattenfall [VATN.UL], said the decision affected at least four of its projects, which together could generate around 1 gigawatt (GW) of power. “Such projects would lose the permits and couldn’t be built,” spokesman Peter Stedt said, referring to two of the projects that have been approved.

In all, some 2.8 GW of planned wind power production could be cancelled, according to industry lobby Svensk Vindenergi, equivalent to 42 percent of Sweden’s current wind

production. Around 1 GW of that relates to wind farms with permits, and 1.8 GW to projects awaiting approval, it said.

/Editing by Gwladys Fouche and Mark Potter/


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