Electricity prices in Sweden are a bit nuts right now. It is not a unique situation for Sweden as many countries struggle with high energy prices. But, this page is about Sweden, so we will focus on the why and what of high electricity prices in Sweden.
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Why are electricity prices so high in Sweden?
A lot of it has to do with energy prices being high in Europe. Sweden is part of a common electricity market. This means that the demand for Swedish electricity is higher due to the European situation, which means that prices go up. After all, supply and demand tend to go hand in hand when it comes to price. There are a number of reasons why the energy price is high in Europe.
- Gas is become more expensive due to the war in Ukraine.
- Emission trading within the EU has made it more expensive to produce electricity with fossil fuels.
- Nuclear power plants are being decommissioned in Europe. Germany and France have closed a number of nuclear power in the last years.
What else impacts the electricity prices in Sweden?
It really is a matter of supply and demand dictating the price. If there is not enough wind or sun, the water in the dams are low and nuclear power plants are shut down. Because the nuclear power plants shut down there is a higher demand – then prices will go up.
But it is also important to remember that Sweden does not act as a sole entity. Electricity is not a Swedish issue but a Northern European issue. So if the literal dung heap hits the electricity producers in other countries, it will affect us in Sweden as well.
Why does Sweden export electricity when the prices are so high?
If we didn’t, we would be breaking trade rules. Sweden is part of the common electricity market both in “sickness and in health” until new agreements have been made. However it is generally believed that being part of a common electricity market is more beneficial than not being part of it. Countries help each other match supply with demand which will be especially important the more we move towards solar and wind power. If Sweden is low on sun (which would of course never happen 🙂 )and wind for a while, then importing from other countries is essential.
Has the shut down of nuclear power plants led to higher electricity prices in Sweden?
Experts say yes but only to a certain degree. The shutdown of Swedish nuclear power plants has actually had a relatively small effect on energy prices. The electricity prices are much more affected by the situation in other countries. However, the shut down of nuclear plants has affected prices in the south of Sweden as the south doesn’t have many other ways of producing electricity.
Can we compensate for the phasing out of nuclear power?
Yes most definitely. For instance by:
- Expanding solar, wind and bio-power.
- Reducing the use of electric energy through energy saving and energy efficiency.
- Making electric energy consumption more efficient through smart technology so that we get the same effect while using less electricity.
- Shifting electric consumption (when possible) to the night when there is more electricity in the pipes due to less use.
Why, oh why is electricity more expensive in the south of Sweden?
There are a few different reasons for this:
- Sweden has four different electricity areas that transfer electricity between each other. When the transfer capacity is maxed, the price starts to rice.
- Over 90% of Swedens hydro electricity production is based in the north of Sweden.
- The south of Sweden used to largely depend on nuclear power but when those plants were shut down their independent electricity production was severely down sized.
- As the electricity grid is not expected to grow in the next couple of years, the differences in price are likely to remain for a while.
And finally, where do I find electricity suppliers?
As prices are so high in general, electricity providers are offering similar pricing. However, the type of contract (for instance fixed or movable) can have an impact on your bill. If the type of electricity provided is important for you (ie renewable vs not renewable), making an informed decision between suppliers will be important.
You can find a supplier by doing a Google search. Use the word “elavtal” which gives you a list of electricity providers. A lot of them have information in English.
We have also partnered up with a couple of electricity providers which you find here:
- Telge Energi* is the choice for those of you who are concerned about the environment. They only sell electricity that has the eco-label Good Environmental Choice (Bra Miljöval) by the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (Naturskyddsföreningen).
- Göta Energi* focus their main selling points on cheap prices and good customer service.
- Fortum* is the largest company on this list and the 3rd biggest provider of carbon dioxide free electricity in Europe.
- Skellefteå Kraft* is according to them the northern challenger that has the best customer service and always offers 100% renewable electricity at no extra cost.
If you want to know how to set up an electricity contract in Sweden and what you should think about when doing it, you can read about it here.
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