“Our judgment is that production of food outweighs energy in this case,” Helena Holmgren, who runs the unit handling the application, said in a statement.
Denmark-based European Energy now plans to appeal the decision at Sweden’s environmental court, Ted Bergdahl, a spokesperson for the company, said by telephone. The company “believes that large-scale produced solar power is necessary to achieve national climate goals,” it said in a separate statement.
While the Nordic countries have already seen their fair share of conflicts arising from renewable power developments — including at various times objections from the military, home-owners and even reindeer herders — those disputes have mostly centered on 150 meter-high wind turbines, not silent and relatively flat solar panels.
But with food prices on the rise amid the war in Ukraine, one of world’s biggest exporters of grain, the risks around national food supply look set to feature more prominently when local permits are up for discussion.
“Skane has a great responsibility for the national food supply,” Holmgren said.