Onshore Wind Energy Market Analysis : Of Sweden, Poland, and Romania
Abstract: The shift towards sustainability is a key point in many countries’ energy programs. Among renewable energy technologies, wind power offers high productivity and reliability. However, its profitability is strongly dependent on the support of favorable political environment, national and/or European incentives, and market opportunities. With this regard, this study presents a methodology to highlight how different scenarios impact on the remuneration from similar featured wind farms. Indeed, a wind farm pre-feasibility study is performed in three different locations in Sweden, Poland, and Romania respectively. Both technical and economic results are compared, and conclusions are carried out. First, a study defining detailed country profiles is performed by focusing on wind energy current scenario and development of future scenarios. Key investment actors and business models are analyzed in order to define market opportunities and criticalities. This research is crucial and preliminary to choose proper features and realistic assumptions for the pre-feasibility wind projects. Therefore, the first results come from these market analyses which outline various bottlenecks in the countries energy systems. Specifically, the Swedish permitting phase is affected by the local “municipal veto” which sets limits on the wind turbines height. The biggest barrier in Poland is the “10H rule” imposing strict distances between wind farms and houses. Lastly, the most relevant Romanian issue is the grid capability which needs to be expanded in order to accommodate the desired renewable energy capacities. The first assumptions of the wind farm designs aim at overcoming these criticalities, by choosing a wind turbine model with acceptable height and rotor diameter and assuming approved permits. Finally, the research continues with the design of three 100 MW wind farms located in sites with similar annual average wind speeds. Thus, techno-optimizations lead to the final layout orientations by minimizing wake effects. Hence, the economic analysis shows that the wind farm located in Romania has higher productivity and profitability, followed by the Swedish and the Polonian wind farms. However, the comparison study exposes another relevant difference. The Swedish and Polonian assumptions on the permitting phase are related to political rules already planned to be modified or removed uniquely, such as the municipal veto and 10H rule. On the contrary, the Romanian barrier regards a grid expansion involving huge investments along with political decisions. In conclusion, given that the three pre-feasibility projects are already cost-effective, the profitability of the projects raises along with decreasing of investment costs from the technical side, and implementation of necessary amendments from the political one.
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