Scandinavia: The North calls for quality

12/14/17, 11:06 AM -

So far, little has been heard about photovoltaics in Scandinavia. This is beginning to change. Falling PV and storage prices, a high level of environmental awareness and incentive programs are driving the market. Suppliers such as EWS benefit above all from the high-quality awareness.

PV rooftop installation in Sweden.
PV rooftop installation in Sweden.

The Scandinavian countries are no solar mass markets. PV installations with an output of around 140 megawatts (MW) were installed in Sweden at the end of 2016, around 27 MW in Norway and around 20 MW in Finland. But the growth rates of recent times are considerable.

50 installer partners in Sweden

Kai Lippert, Managing Director of EWS in Handewitt (Flensburg district) sees great potential, especially in Sweden. "Photovoltaics are already close to economic viability in Sweden, plus the high level of ecological awareness and the strong interest in self-sufficiency," the solar pioneer says. At 13 to 14 cents / kWh, household electricity tariffs are also significantly higher than in neighboring Norway with around five cents / kWh. EWS currently works together with around 50 installers in Sweden. Two employees in the EWS headquarters speak Swedish, "although English is also widespread," says Lippert.

Kai Lippert in front of one his warehouses in Handewitt, close to the Danish border.

New Swedish online shop 

But in order to reach the market even better, the wholesaler has recently started offering its online shop in Swedish. The focus is primarily on rooftop systems and small commercial systems with up to 300 kW in southern Sweden. "Quality awareness is very high, which suits us very well," says Lippert. "In addition, the Swedes like the Germans," he adds with a smile. With a market share of ten percent (out of a total of around 70 MW), EWS performed well in the past year. "We make 80 percent of our sales there with strong brands such as Fronius, SMA or Kostal," says Lippert.

Strong growth expected

For this year, Lippert expects a PV expansion in the three-digit MW range in the kingdom. As of July 1, previous taxation on self-consumption of commercial installations above 255 kW was reduced by 98 percent, and recently the Swedish government announced an increase in subsidies for the purchase and installation of a PV roof system from 20 to 30 percent. (HCN)

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