New proposal for regulation of hydropower in Sweden – A matter of clean energy vs environmental protection

A new Swedish legislative proposal with the purpose to ensure that all water operations requiring a permit, such as hydropower plants in small and large scale, should be operated in accordance with environmental requirements, has been heavily criticised by the hydropower industry. One of the most controversial parts of the proposal is that permits for water operations which are based on old legislation could be repealed, were the proposal to be subject to legislation. The situation highlights the difficulties that arise when EU Member States have to pursue and take into account the different objectives of separate EU legislative acts, in this case clean energy versus environmental concerns. In this article, Jakob Falkman (Partner), Rickard Haglund (Senior Associate) and Emil Nordin describe the situation, present different sides of the ongoing debate and explain the conflict of objectives arising from the proposal.

Published in European Energy Journal, issue 4, November 2014.

The complete article