Reliable electricity supply soon not something we can take for granted

The Swedish electricity system is still robust and has high delivery reliability. The closure of nuclear power plants and an increase in electricity from wind power may, however, disrupt the status quo.

“I have never been worried about the Swedish electricity system. But electricity-intensive Swedish industries in combination with cold winter days may prove to be a toxic combination for the grid in the future,” said Leif Johansson, Chairman of both Ericsson and Astra Zeneca, at IVA’s Almedal seminar on threats to a reliable power supply.

“In other countries, such as China, there are factories that can only operate 70% of the time due to a shortage of electricity.

“Energy efficiency is solving some problems, but our grid needs to be overhauled. Otherwise we might have a serious problem,” Johansson said.

Karin Byman, energy expert at IVA, maintained that the situation in the future may be such that Svenska kraftnät (Sweden’s national grid) will be forced to disconnect portions of the grid periodically.

“No single actor is responsible for monitoring delivery reliability. This should be assigned to Svenska kraftnät,” she said.

Ulla Sandborgh, Svenska kraftnät’s Director General:

“I would be happy for us to be given that responsibility.

Delivery reliability is becoming increasingly important. The IoT (Internet of Things) and other new forms of electricity, use as well as the current levels of consumption, are making the electricity supply a vital basic function in society.”

Maria Sunér Fleming, Confederation of Swedish Enterprise, maintained that high delivery reliability for electricity is a competitive advantage for Sweden and it must be safeguarded.

Runar Brännlund of Umeå University said that price flexibility for electricity could solve part of the problem of future uncertainty.

Member of Parliament Ingemar Nilsson (S) thinks that we should focus on the grid and energy storage and the need to develop new business models for e-commerce.

Pernilla Gunther (KD) is also a Member of Parliament. She pointed to the danger of cyber attacks which could put out the grid. Electricity delivery reliability, according to Gunther, therefore needs to be placed in a broader security context.


Contact information

Karin Byman
Director Climate, Resources and Energy
Phone +46 70-574 70 72