Russian threat means no to Swedish offshore wind farm?

4C Offshore | Tom Russell
By: 21/12/2016 4C Offshore
Blekinge Offshore ABThe Swedish Government has finished a review of several wind farms, including Blenkinge Offshore AB's project located 5km off the south coast of Hanö, an Island near the Swedish Mainland.

Following its review the Government has decided to deny building permission to for the Blenkinge project due to the site being contained within an area of sea which is of strategic importance to the armed forces. Environment Minister Carolina Forest explained that if the site had been given approval military exercises would have been reduced in the area, against the country's plans to strengthen its Navy and Air Force.

The strengthening of the Swedish armed forces is in part a response to what is seen as an ever growing threat from Russia. In early September defence chief Nicael Bydén and defence minister Peter Hultqvist warned the threat from the nuclear superpower was growing.  Russian jet fighters have been increasingly cutting through Swedish airspace during training exercises in the Baltic, prompting an angry responses from the Swedish government. It is thought that Sweden has been moving closer to the NATO Western alliance through programs of shared training and military equipment. Now the Scandinavian country has deployed soldiers to Gotland island for the first time in a decade.  Sweden maintained a permanent military garrison on Gotland until 2005.

There is no chance to appeal the decision confirmed Blekinge Offshore AB, who began working on the project eight years ago. The proposal included the installation of up to 700 turbines, between 3-6MW in capacity, across a 200km2 area, with the possible expansion of a further 350 turbines.

The Swedish Government plans to source 100 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2040.