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Värmland's Power Grid Could Serve as a Model for the Entire Sweden

Over the next year, Glava Energy Center will explore the potential for flexible use and production of electricity within Värmland's power grid. The project is funded by the research entity Energiforsk, aiming for its outcomes to establish a model applicable to all of Sweden's electricity grid owners

– Flexible electricity use and production are becoming increasingly crucial as the proportion of electricity from wind and solar sources grows in Sweden and across Northern Europe. The more flexibility we have, the better opportunities for industries in Värmland to develop and expand without relying on time-consuming grid expansions, says David Olsson, project manager at Glava Energy Center.

In a pilot project, Glava Energy Center will develop a method to assess the potential for flexibility in Sweden's power grid. Starting from the situation in Värmland, where previous analyses by Glava Energy Center indicate that the grid's transmission capacity might increase at the earliest after 2030, the center will evaluate flexibility possibilities. This evaluation involves interviews with electricity producers, major electricity consumers, and information regarding planned grid connections.

The project kicks off in December and is set to be presented by October 2024. Funded with 0.5 million SEK by Energiforsk, the aim is to devise a method for electricity grid companies to assess the future power demand within the grid. The objective is to create a method that can be replicated and utilized by all electricity grid companies in Sweden.

– Finding more efficient ways to use our power grids is crucial for Sweden to manage electrification, climate transitions, and to maintain a competitive industry. There is a need for more knowledge on flexible electricity use, so it will be very interesting to see the results from Glava Energy Center, says Susanne Stjernfeldt, responsible for electricity grids at Energiforsk.

Ellevio owns around 70 percent of the power grids in Värmland. Tomas Brunzell, Ellevio's head of power grids in Central Sweden, sees significant benefits from the project.

– Our forecasts indicate a dramatic increase in future electricity needs. We will require substantial network development and all available electricity production. For a stable electrical system, flexibility, energy storage, and various methods of connecting production become increasingly vital. Therefore, this research project becomes a crucial starting point for Värmland and the entire Swedish electrical system, says Tomas Brunzell.


Flexible Electricity Use

Flexible electricity use involves shifting electricity consumption away from times when the power system is most strained to times of lower consumption. This is known as reducing peak demand. For households, it might involve running the washing machine at night instead of when returning home from work. For industries, it could mean reducing production during peak demand periods and increasing production when demand is lower. The more flexible the electricity use, the less need there is for Sweden to expand, for example, wind power, nuclear power, or power lines. This allows for a relatively smaller and more cost-effective electrical system.

New Connections to the Power Grid

Electricity grid companies are obligated to submit network development plans to the Energy Market Inspectorate every other year. These plans should include information on what will be required to connect new electricity production, such as solar panels or wind turbines, as well as new electricity consumers like industries. By doing this, electricity grid companies can assess the future power demand within the grid. 



David Olsson, Project Manager at Glava Energy Center:

Susanne Stjernfeldt, Area Manager for Electricity Grids, Wind Power, and Solar Energy at Energiforsk:


Photo: Tomas Ärlemo, Svenska kraftnät.

Last edited: 19/01 2024