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Swedish grid operator proposes $5 billion power price subsidy

Swedish grid operator proposes $5 billion power price subsidy
By Reuters
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STOCKHOLM - Sweden's national power grid operator proposed on Thursday that the government spend 55 billion Swedish crowns ($5.05 billion) this year on subsidies to households and businesses hit by unusually high energy costs.

Sweden's then-government in August said it expected to have 90 billion crowns available this year and next to take on some of the soaring energy costs, and tasked grid operator Svenska Kraftnat with working out a detailed proposal.

Since then the Social Democrat government has lost power to the right-wing opposition, which has also pledged to offset bills.

"Fifty-five billion crowns is the sum that we deem suitable to pay in the current year," Svenska Kraftnat Chief Executive Lotta Medelius-Bredhe told a joint news conference with the recently appointed prime minister and energy minister.

Medelius-Bredhe said Svenska Kraftnat proposed that the government compensates consumers in areas where power prices exceed 0.75 crowns per kilowatt hour.

Consumers in the north of Sweden, where power prices are far lower due to high hydropower generation and lack of transmission capacity out of the region, will not be eligible for compensation.

The grid operator will now seek approval for the proposal from the Swedish Energy Markets Inspectorate, before the measures can be implemented by the government.

Governments across the globe are launching measures to ease inflation pain after pandemic-related disruptions to supply chains and the effects of Russia's war in Ukraine combined to drive up prices of energy, commodities and basic necessities.

($1 = 10.8834 Swedish crowns)

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