Wind Energy Sweden: Keep up with the wind energy goals
Without any doubt, no country and industry escaped the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic. The wind energy market in Sweden was no different. The virus slowed slightly down the new wind projects, but the country continues to be in the top five of new installations in Europe.
As we are learning to live with the Covid-19 pandemic, the wind energy industry is now accounting for the setbacks this virus caused. Endiprev teams are already working on every project in Europe, being an active solution to get wind energy activity back on track. For that reason, we are implementing every necessary measure to ensure our teams’ safety while keeping our responsibility to clean energy generation and our customers’ goals.
The impact of Covid-19 on wind energy in Sweden
2019 was a strong year for the wind energy market in Sweden. The country was the fourth in Europe with more installations, with 1,588 MW of new wind capacity installed. It almost doubled from 2018 to 2019. This expansion of wind power in Sweden was expected to remain high in the next few years, doubling the wind energy generation with the development of several big projects.
However, the Covid-19 pandemic slowed down the expected growth of Swedish wind energy. In the first half of 2020, Sweden installed 389MW of onshore wind energy. That represents 15% fewer new wind projects than the same period last year. Be that as it may, Sweden continues to be in the top five of European countries with more new installations.
In April, right in the middle of the pandemic, Sweden closed the KVV6 power station, two years ahead of schedule. Being its last remaining coal-fired power plant, Sweden just became the third country in Europe to transition away from coal. Markbygden Wind Farm and other on-going projects will now support the production of clean energy.
Additional safety concerns on site
Endiprev has been working in the Markbygden Wind Farm, one of the largest wind farms in Europe, since 2019, along with several other maintenance projects. With the pandemic outbreak, we had to find solutions to maintain our teams working there, with all the safety required. At this moment, Sweden is one of the countries more affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Therefore, the communication between the Management and EHS teams, and the technicians is even more frequent.
“In our new daily routine, the mask and disinfectant are always present, just like the cellphone and the wallet”, explains José Costa, one of our technicians working in Sweden. Our teams’ safety is one of our priorities, so they have access to every necessary EPI to protect them. On-site, there is a limited number of people allowed on the wind turbines, and the use of masks is always mandatory, especially when someone external to Endiprev is visiting the site. “The adaptation to the new reality was easy. The use of a mask is mandatory, as it is disinfecting all the tools. We understand this requirement is for our own safety”.
The biggest difficulty is the life outside the workplace, where our teams feel more exposed to the virus. “In the supermarket, most people don’t wear a mask. Usually, when we need to go to those places, we tend to have additional measures to protect ourselves”. For this reason, Endiprev’s EHS team is constantly sharing information and measures not only to adopt on-site but also when returning home.
We have been working in Sweden since 2019, supporting the rapid expansion of wind energy there. Despite the difficulties due to this virus, we are committed to helping our customers to achieve their goals on schedule. For that, we have our strong and resilient teams to thank for.