POST Online Media Lite Edition


Finland, Denmark and Sweden leading green revolution

Christian Fernsby |
Long considered pioneers in renewables, the Nordic region is preparing to further grow its renewable capacity and become a major powerhouse for Europe.

Article continues below

Thanks to wind power, hydrogen electrolyzer, nuclear power and carbon storage initiatives, Rystad Energy has identified Sweden, Finland and Denmark as leaders in the green revolution offering solutions, with lessons for the rest of Europe as it looks to rapidly decarbonize its energy system.

On onshore wind and utility scale solar PV generation, Rystad Energy expects capacity in these three countries to grow from a collective 30 gigawatts (GW) in 2022 to 74 GW by 2030.

With electricity output expected to exceed their need, these countries will export large volumes of green power to Europe, helping provide the region with stable supply at low prices.

Almost 40 green hydrogen projects are poised to start-up in the region by 2030 or earlier, giving Denmark, Sweden and Finland a combined 18% of Europe’s electrolyzer capacity for green hydrogen production.

This, combined with Denmark’s potential to store carbon in the North Sea, will go a significant way towards helping Europe decarbonize heavy industries such as steel and cement.

“The Nordics at present produce over 90% of their power (including nuclear) via renewables and are significant electricity exporters to the rest of Europe. That trend will intensify as geography, technology and managerial experience in the region will see renewable investment and generation increase. This will be welcome news to heavy industries in the region as Europe seeks to cut emissions”, says Francesca Bjørnflaten, senior analyst, renewables at Rystad Energy

All five countries in the Nordic region - Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Iceland - have set targets to source even more power from zero-carbon sources, with some aiming to become major exporters of clean energy.

With most power in Norway and Iceland generated by hydropower (75%) and the fact that these two countries are not set to deploy a substantial amount of wind energy in the future, they have been excluded from this analysis.

For decades, the Nordic region has been at the forefront of the energy transition and now has some of the cleanest energy mixes in the world.

However, there are large country-specific differences in the way in which these countries are handling the energy transition.

The chart below shows the historical power generation mix for Sweden, Finland and Denmark over the last 20 years, together with Rystad Energy’s current base case forecast towards 2030.

This highlights the large country differences both in size and composition of their power mixes, as well as the expected growth for different sources going forward.

Sweden has by far the largest power generation capacity in the Nordic region and is the sixth largest in Europe behind Germany, France, the UK, Italy and Spain. Sweden’s power mix has historically been dominated by nuclear and hydropower. In recent years, onshore wind has grown strongly and is now the nation’s third-largest source of electricity.

Sweden’s large nuclear fleet is starting to age, with the newly elected government proposing to expand capacity to replace or complement its six operational reactors spread across three sites: Ringhals, Forsmark and Oskarshamn. Sweden was the largest electricity exporter in Europe for the first three quarters of 2022, selling over 20% of its total generation to neighboring countries.

Huge, planned expansion of generation capacity will enable it to continue being a powerhouse for Europe, exporting clean and cheap power.

Denmark, Sweden and Finland are planning to add to their renewable generation capacity considerably in the years to come. In the three countries combined, Rystad Energy expects onshore wind and utility-scale solar PV alone to grow from 32 GW in 2022 to 74 GW by 2030.

Onshore wind will be the dominant energy source, accounting for 61.5 GW of the installed capacity with the remaining 12.8 GW to come from solar PV:

Sweden is set to install 30 GW of onshore wind by 2030, part of its plan of becoming a significant energy exporter, with just 3 GW of solar PV expected to be added over the period. Long term, Sweden aims to source 65% of its generation capacity from renewables by 2030 compared to 23% presently, rising to 100% by 2040.

Finland is set to ramp up onshore wind capacity from 5 GW in 2022 to 20 GW by 2030. Only 0.8 GW of new installed capacity is expected to come from solar PV. By 2030, Finland is aiming for 51% of its power generation to be renewables-based compared to 17% at present.

Denmark’s power mix already consists of mainly renewable energy (70%) and is now aiming for renewables to hold a 55% share of its overall energy consumption by 2030. In terms of renewable energy sources, Denmark will grow onshore wind capacity by 11.5 GW and solar PV by 9 GW up to 2030.

Offshore wind capacity will rise from 2.3 GW presently to 8.8 GW by the end of this decade.

Denmark is one of the pioneers of offshore wind technology, leveraging its technical prowess with available acreage in the North Sea and Baltic Sea.

It is now one of the five largest offshore wind markets in Europe, with further capacity additions likely in the coming decades to help meet Europe’s low carbon power needs. This year, the Danish government set a new target to deploy 12.9 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030, a 4 GW increase from the previous mark.

It follows Denmark’s pledge to contribute to the Esbjerg Declaration alongside Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium. This aims for 65 GW of offshore wind to be installed by the four countries by 2030 and 150 GW by 2050.

The below graph shows that the combined capacity forecast for these four countries only amounts to about 50 GW by 2030, with Denmark reaching some 9 GW by the same year, meaning that more additions will need to come online this decade.

Denmark is also participating in the Marienborg Declaration via which eight countries in the Baltic Sea have committed to installing almost 20 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030.

Rystad Energy expects seven nations (excluding Latvia since the commissioning of an offshore wind farm there is unlikely before 2030) to surpass the 19.6 GW mark.

The Marienborg Declaration has also been signed by Sweden and Finland, which are forecast to install a combined 6 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030.

While two energy islands in Denmark have been dedicated to offshore wind, islands dedicated to producing ‘green’ hydrogen could also become a reality. Denmark, Sweden and Finland have announced almost 40 separate green hydrogen projects with start-up scheduled for 2030 or earlier.

The combined share of electrolyzer capacity for green hydrogen production in the three countries will comprise about 18% of the European market by 2030.

This is based on current announcements, showcasing the importance of the Nordic countries - especially Denmark (12% share in 2030) and Sweden (5% share in 2030) – for Europe’s uptake of green hydrogen.

Sweden is seeking to decarbonize the steel industry by replacing coal with renewable energy and green hydrogen to produce ‘green’ steel.

The manufacturing process will use green hydrogen as a feedstock to directly reduce iron ore, creating ‘sponge iron’ as an intermediate product.

Steel will be produced by melting sponge iron, resulting in a reduction in emissions. According to Swedish steel maker H2 Green Steel, it is possible to reduce CO2 emissions by 95% when producing green steel, compared with traditional, coal-based steel-making techniques.

In 2021, H2 Green Steel announced plans to produce up to 5 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) of green steel by 2030 using total electrolyzer capacity of around 800 MW. At the time of writing, this is the largest announced hydrogen electrolyzer in Sweden.

Swedish joint venture HYBRIT is also looking to produce 1.2 Mtpa of crude steel as early as 2026 through the ‘HYBRIT demonstration project which is supported by the EU Innovation Fund. Currently, HYBRIT is operating a pilot plant in north Sweden (Luleaa) to produce green steel using a 4.5 MW alkaline electrolyzer supplied by Norwegian company NEL.

As part of the HYBRIT pilot project, a hydrogen storage facility in Luleaa was commissioned in September. It will initially operate for two years and consists of a 100-square meter rock cavern able to store green hydrogen at maximum pressure of 250 bar.

In 2020, Denmark, Finland and Sweden accounted for about 4% of the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions, excluding emissions from land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF).

Emissions come primarily from industrial sources, such as iron and steel manufacturing facilities which are mainly located in Finland and Sweden. It also includes emissions from hard-to-abate industries, such as cement, which have few options to decarbonize apart from carbon capture and storage (CCS).

Denmark has significant storage availability from onshore saline aquifers, but the country is also extremely well suited for CO2 storage within the North Sea.

With easy access to the North Sea and the rest of mainland Europe, high storage volumes with low point source emissions coupled with the high demand for CO2 storage in the surrounding areas, Denmark has great potential for becoming a main storage hub in Europe as the EU strives to meet its climate targets.

What to read next

Coronavirus pandemic to cut tourist spending by up to 50% in Finland this year
Arctic rail link via Narvik gains ground in Finland
Finland tourism revenues better than expected

Flooding concerns in Puerto Rico; thunderstorms across southeast U.S.

The main weather feature and focus for showers and thunderstorms through this weekend will be a cold front progressing across the East and stalling between the Southeast and southern Texas.


Concept Medical announces enrollment of first patient in "MAGICAL-ISR" ide study in U.S.
U.S. oil rig count up by 5 to 511
Rhode Island Governor, State Police promote safe travel across Washington Bridge
Governor Abbott met with Samsung executives to discuss billions invested in Texas


California: Nearly 500 arrests, 160,000 stolen goods recovered in just 3 months

Romania: EPPO probes public officials in investigation into €160 000 fraud involving employment funds
EPPO: 3 convicted of evading €3.1 million in customs duties on imported e-bikes
Romania: EPPO conducted searches in investigation into €1.7 million fraud involving irrigation systems
U.S.: Pacific storm over west
4.8 magnitude earthquake rattles New Jersey and New York


U.S. drillers cut oil and gas rigs to 620

Australia: East coast gas surplus expected in Q3 2024
Kuwait-Saudi rail link to be ready by 2028, says report
Cambodia approves investment projects worth $2.2 in Q1
Venice to charge day trip tourists 5 euros
Commission opens two in-depth investigations in solar photovoltaic sector

Trending Now

Coca-Cola Company to create approximately 250 new jobs in Town of Webster

Governor Abbott met with Samsung executives to discuss billions invested in Texas

Concept Medical announces enrollment of first patient in "MAGICAL-ISR" ide study in U.S.

Egypt to establish free zone for yachts along Red Sea coast


Egypt to establish free zone for yachts along Red Sea coast

UK Exports Minister visits Latin America to boost trade and unlock billions worth of exports
Argentina, Brazil in talks to reverse Bolivian gas pipeline amid shortage
Trudeau offers $6 billion to provinces to build housing
€1 billion Greek State aid measures to support renewable energy generation and storage projects
North Carolina reaches electric vehicle registration goals two years early

Today We Recommend

Egypt to establish free zone for yachts along Red Sea coast


Nokia Q1 sales down

UnitedHealth Q1 $99.8 billion

Johnson & Johnson Q1 earnings $5.3bn


Coca-Cola Company to create approximately 250 new jobs in Town of Webster

99 Cents Only Stores to close all 371 stores
Alaska Airlines says Boeing paid $160 mln for 737 Max 9 grounding
Lindsay announces agreement to acquire minority interest in Pessl Instruments
Saint-Gobain to acquire Bailey for $650 million
Farmers Mutual Hail to acquire Global Ag from AXA XL


MainStreaming appoints Tassilo Raesig as COO

BioArctic AB proposes for election board members and chairperson
TerraPay names Marco Boldini as EVP and global head of governmental affairs
Farmers Insurance appoints John Griek as CFO
PA Media Group appoints Emily Shelley as new CEO
BioNTech appoints Annemarie Hanekamp as chief commercial officer


Slovenia's economy expected to grow 0.9 pct in Q1

Italy faces deficit infringement procedure
Real GDP increased in all 50 U.S. states
Inflation continues to decline in Germany
UK house prices log unexpected fall
South Korea's FDI logs double digit growth in Q1


Nokia Q1 sales down

UnitedHealth Q1 $99.8 billion
Johnson & Johnson Q1 earnings $5.3bn
Dollarama Q4 sales increased 11.3%
Conagra Brands Q3 sales decreased 1.7%
Liebherr finished 2023 business year with record revenue of €14,042 million


Micromanaging is the worst enemy of efficiency and teamwork

Niger set to monetize massive gas reserves through Saharan natural gas pipeline
Putting the brakes on EV folly that choked the market
Oil discovery in Kavango Basin may mean huge benefits for Namibians
Cape Town and Dubai battle over Africa's energy future
Is America going to lose its superpower status?


FAO Food Price Index rises in March

Australia grants license for GM bananas amid Fusarium Wilt TR4 concerns
Indian government allows exports of 10,000 tons of onions to UAE
Analytical survey: Sales of agricultural lands in Ukraine up 50% in February
Decline in Norwegian seafood exports in Q1
Tanzania's first fishing harbor to be completed in 2025


Study finds workers misjudge wage markets

Some organizations may need to expand their hierarchical structures earlier than others
Study finds there's right way and wrong way to deliver negative feedback in workplace
Allyship is critical and its needs appreciation
Generating 'buzz' about new products can influence their success
Hiring 'problem directors' can knock up to 64% off firm's value


HSBC pays penalties for alleged breaches of Consumer Data Right rules

Sanofi to settle thousands of Zantac cancer lawsuits
Former asset manager and board member of Geneva private bank referred to Swiss Federal Criminal Court
South Africa: SAP ordered to pay SIU $26m over 'invalid' Eskom contracts
Former Steinhoff director appears in court for $1.1b fraud, racketeering
Genesis agrees to pay $21 million penalty to settle SEC charges



Buna channels, an unreal and beautiful part of Bosnia and Herzegovina

JW Marriott unveils Mindful Haven with opening of JW Marriott Hotel Nairobi
Sotheby's Sports Week returns with fantastic artifacts
Red Roof properties open in Michigan
Treyam, your premier lagoon destination in Saudi Arabia
San Francisco: SkyStar wheel on Fisherman’s Wharf to stay for another 18 months


2025 Chevrolet Equinox stands apart with fresh looks and capability

Hill Helicopters HX50, luxury in the sky
Opel Movano becomes fully equipped camper van
Porsche Panamera, new hybrid variants
Dodge Charger, 670 horsepower of electric
Pagani Huayra R Evo, 900 hp from 770 Nm


Cold night, hot fire pit, cool entertainment

Embellish your home with PVC panels
You'll have to hurry if you want one of 20 new Louis Vuitton watches
Luxury duvet looks good, fells good and keeps you healthy
Vacheron Constantin, watches for life and more
Schüller kitchens, where functionality marries design


reMarkable 2, monochrome tablet for your thoughts and your eyes

OnePlus Ace 3V, first with Snapdragon 7 Plus Gen 3
ASUS Zenfone 11 Ultra, flagship with a reason
Samsung Galaxy S24 is photography powerhouse
Casette tapes are making a big comeback, and so are portable players
Neumann TLM 103, standard microphone for both voice and music


India launches first home-grown gene therapy for cancer

UK scientists win funding for 'cancer detecting' Lollipops
State to cover rare disease treatment costs in Bulgaria
Type 1 diabetes patients in England to receive 'artificial pancreas' as medication
Pilot study shows ketogenic diet improves severe mental illness
Texas reports possibly U.S. first human case of bird flu linked to cattle


Rare species of wild bees discovered in Berlin

SLAC completes construction of largest digital camera ever built for astronomy
Solar eclipse next week in U.S., Mexico and Canada
Gravitational waves may have made human life possible
Astronomers unveil strong magnetic fields spiraling at the edge of Milky Way's central black hole
Scientists on hunt for evidence of quantum gravity's existence at South Pole