Energy in Sweden

Energy in Sweden describes energy and electricity production, consumption and import in Sweden. Electricity sector in Sweden is the main article of electricity in Sweden. The Swedish climate bill of February 2017 aims to make Sweden carbon neutral by 2045. The Swedish target is to decline emission of climate gases 63% from 1990 to 2030 and international transportation excluding foreign flights 70%.[1][2][3] By 2014 just over half of the country's total final energy consumption in electricity, heating and cooling and transport combined was provided by renewables, the highest share amongst the 28 EU member countries.[4] About a third of Sweden's electricity is generated by nuclear power. In generating a year's worth of this energy, Swedes generate about 4 tonnes of CO
emissions each. Since 2010, sustainability measures have reduced total emissions even as the population has increased.

Historical electricity production in Sweden by source

Wind turbines in Sweden

Swedish government climate and environment investment budget will be ca 1.3 billion euros in 4 years 2017 - 2020 in non fossil travel, renewable energy and international (Annually in Swedish currency : 1.8 billion 2017, 1.5 billion 2018, 4.5 billion 2019 & ca 5 billion 2020.) [5]

In 2011, the World Energy Council gave Sweden, France, and Switzerland top marks for their energy sustainability. In 2017 the share of energy from renewable sources in Sweden was 55% in energy use, 69% in heating and cooling, 66% in electricity and 27% in transports.[6] In 2019, 97% of the energy used for public transport was renewable.[7]


Energy in Sweden[8]
Year Population
Primary energy supply[lower-alpha 1]
Energy production
Net energy imports
Electricity consumption[lower-alpha 2]
CO2-emissions[lower-alpha 3]
2012R[lower-alpha 4]9.52583421179136.040.4
Change 2004-1712.3%-8.8%2.7%-30.1%-1.4%-28%
Energy figures converted from Mtoe using conversion factor 1 Mtoe = 11.63 TWh.
  1. Primary energy supply is national production + net imports + supply for international aviation and shipping + stock changes.[9] It includes energy losses, such as 2/3 for nuclear power.[10]
  2. Gross production + imports – exports – losses.
  3. Exclude emissions from non-energy.
  4. CO2 calculation criteria changed, numbers updated.

The emissions decline 7.7% in 2008–2009 was at least partly influenced by the European economic recession of 2008–2009 and not only by the sustainable changes in energy consumption. From 2008 to 2009 the change in the US was a 7.0% decline and in Canada was a 9.6% decline.[11]

A report was published in 2011 by the World Energy Council in association with Oliver Wyman, entitled Policies for the Future: 2011 Assessment of Country Energy and Climate Policies, which ranks country performance according to an energy sustainability index.[12] The best performers were Switzerland, Sweden and France.

Buildings and the residential sector currently account for 40 percent of Sweden's energy consumption. Buildings have a long life-span. Thus energy efficiency is important for houses being built. Better energy efficiency for existing buildings is the biggest challenge.[13]

Renewable energy

Within the context of the European Union's 2009 Renewables Directive, Sweden was working towards reaching a 49% share of renewable energy in gross final consumption of energy - electricity, heating/cooling, and transportation - by 2020.[14] Eurostat reported that Sweden had already exceeded the Directive's 2020 target in 2014[15] reaching 52.6% of total final energy consumption provided by renewables, up from 38.7% in 2004.[4] This makes Sweden the leading country within the EU-28 group in terms of renewable energy use by share, followed by Finland and Latvia at 38.7%, Austria at 33.1% and Denmark on 29.2%.[4] The two other signatories of the directive, Iceland and Norway, remain ahead of Sweden at 77.1% and 69.2% respectively.[4]

The 2014 52.6% overall share of final energy consumption in Sweden breaks down as renewable energy providing the following shares to each sector: 68.1% of the heating and cooling sector, 63.3% of the electricity sector and 19.2% of the transport sector.[16]

The share of renewable electricity use is high in Sweden. Hydro, wind, and solar power together accounted for 49.8% of the electricity produced in the country in 2014. When measured against national electricity consumption, the share rises to 55.5%.[17] Since 2003, Sweden has supported renewable energy in the electricity sector with a "green electricity certificate" obligation for retail power suppliers.[18][19] The current plan of the certificate system is to support 25 TWh of new renewable electricity generation by 2020.[20]

In June 2016, the Swedish center-left minority coalition government reached a cross-party energy deal with three opposition parties (the Moderate Party, Centre Party (Sweden), and Christian Democrats (Sweden)), with the agreement targeting 100% renewable electricity production by 2040.[21][22]

In 2013 renewable energy investment was more than US$1 billion in Sweden.[23]

Wind power

Wind power accounted for 10% of the electricity generated in Sweden in 2015, up from 5% in 2012 and 2.4% in 2010.[24][25][26][27]

Sweden has wind power potential of 510 TWh/a at land and 46 TWh/a at sea.[28] Consumption was 140 TWh of power in 2010.

In 2013 Sweden was second top country for wind power capacity per inhabitant in the world: 488 W per person, only surpassed by Denmark (863 W per person).[29] In correlation one must note that Swedish use of energy per inhabitant is much higher than average in Europe.

EU and Sweden Wind Energy Capacity (MW)[30][31][32][33][34][35][36]
Country 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 1998
EU-27 153,730 141,579 128,751 117,289 105,69693,95784,07474,76764,71256,51748,06940,51134,38328,59923,15917,31512,8879,6786,453
Sweden 6,519 6,025 5,425 4,4703,7452,9072,1631,5601,048788571509442399345293231220174

Wave power

Sweden has a wave power station outside Lysekil run by Uppsala University. The wave energy research group at Uppsala University study and develop all different aspects of wave energy, ranging from power systems and generators, to hydrodynamical modelling, and environmental impact of wave energy parks.[37]

Hydroelectric power

Hydroelectric power accounts for more than half of Sweden's electricity production. More than 1900 hydroelectric power stations operate across the country. Forty-five produce 100 MW and over, 17 produce 200 MW and over, and 5 produce 400 MW and over. The largest station, the Harsprånget hydroelectric power station, is located on the upper Lule River and has a maximum production capacity of 977 MW. The Lule River is also the most productive river, with almost 18% of the Swedish installed capacity. Almost all of the medium to large plants are located in northern Sweden.

Solar power

While installations have historically been minimal, solar power has been growing quickly in Sweden with the country's cumulative PV capacity nearly doubling in 2014 to 79 MW.[38] Capacity rose further to 205 MW at the end of 2016,[39] and 411 MW at the end of 2018.[40] Market research firm GlobalData predicted in 2019 that Sweden's solar power capacity could rise to 3.2 gigawatts (GW) in 2030.[41]

Solar power accounted for roughly 0.3% of the nation's total electricity consumption in 2018.[42]


Sweden aims for a fossil fuel free vehicle fleet by 2030.[43]

Sweden published the sustainability criteria for biofuels (2011) which consider the areas with high biological values to be protected in respect to fuels production. The feedstock origin used for production of bioliquids in Sweden during 2011 was Sweden 49% The Netherlands 17% United States 17% Finland 6% Belgium 3% and other 8% (Brazil, Malaysia and Russia). Palm oil is often pointed out as a dirty feed-stock for biofuels. None of the Swedish companies used palm oil in 2011. The largest share of feedstock for bioliquids comes from the forest industry in the form of tall oil pitch, tall oil and methanol.[44]

In 2013 the bus fleets in more than a dozen cities relied entirely on biomethane, local plants produced more than 60% of the total biomethane used in Swedish natural gas vehicles, and more filling stations were opened in 2012 and 2013. Goteborg Energi (Gothenburg Energy) has a 20 MW facility that gasifies forest residues and then converts the synthesis gases—hydrogen and carbon monoxide—into biomethane.[45]

Thermal and nuclear

Nuclear is dominating in this sector. The other operational plant is, in almost all cases, fueled with renewable fuels. Oil plants are few, and are either decommissioned or used as a reserve,

Nuclear power

More than 35% of the Swedish electricity is produced by 7 nuclear reactors, spread out on three power stations:

Before 2005, there were 12 reactors, but two BWR reactors (~1,2 GW) at the Barsebäck nuclear power plant were decommissioned in 1999 and 2005, two BWR reactors at the Oskarshamn Nuclear Power Plant were decommissioned in 2015 and 2017 (~1,1 GW), one PWR reactor were decommissioned at the Ringhals Nuclear Power Plant in 2019, with one further PWR reactor planned to be decommissioned in the end of 2020 (~1,8 GW).[46]

Decommissioning and waste storage

Sweden is preparing to dismantle and demolish six large nuclear power reactors on three sites in coming years.[46] It is also working on plans to provide long-term storage of high-level waste.[47]

The total cost of spent fuel storage and decommissioning is estimated at approximately SEK147 billion (around €14 billion). About SEK53 billion (around €5 billion) has been spent to date. This excludes the costs of near-surface disposal facilities for very low-level waste at Ringhals, Oskarshamn, and Forsmark.[46]

The majority of low- and intermediate-level waste will be disposed of in a shallow geological repository for short-lived waste at Forsmark.[46] The country is also exploring the use of transmutation to reduce waste radiotoxicity, with little success.[48]

Global warming

According to Energy Information Administration the CO2 emissions from energy consumption of Sweden were in 2009 54.77 Mt, slightly below Finland 54.86 Mt, despite the difference in population.[49] The emissions per capita were in Sweden 5.58 and in Finland 9.93 tonnes per capita in 2009.[50]

See also


  1. Is the Swedish deputy PM trolling Trump with this all-female photo? The Guardian, 4 February 2017
  2. "Bilden på Isabella Lövin har blivit en världsnyhet". Retrieved 10 January 2018.
  3. "Faktablad: Lagrådsremiss om ett klimatpolitiskt ramverk för Sverige 2017-02-02" (PDF). Retrieved 10 January 2018.
  4. "Eurostat, news release, February 2016". Retrieved 10 January 2018.
  5. ”Den största klimat- och miljöbudgeten i svensk historia”,, 2017
  6. 13.1. Share of energy from renewable sources
  7. 13.2 Renewable energy in public transport
  8. IEA Key World Energy Statistics Statistics 2019, 2017,2015, 2014 (2012R as in November 2015 + 2012 as in March 2014 is comparable to previous years statistical calculation criteria, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009 Archived 7 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine, 2006 Archived 12 October 2009 at the Wayback Machine IEA October, crude oil p.11, coal p. 13 gas p. 15
  9. "Balances definitions: Total primary energy supply".
  10. Energy in Sweden 2010 Archived 16 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine. Facts and figures. The Swedish Energy Agency. Table 8 Losses in nuclear power stations Table 9 Nuclear power brutto.
  11. World carbon dioxide emissions data by country: China speeds ahead of the rest, The Guardian, 31 January 2011
  12. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 20 November 2011. Retrieved 20 November 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  13. Energy efficiency in the built environment – new research and innovation program initiated Archived 14 May 2015 at the Wayback Machine, Swedish Energy Agency, 28 February 2013
  14. "Sweden". Grantham Institute - Climate Change and Environment. 30 October 2015. Retrieved 2 April 2016.
  15. "EU renewables usage shows steady increase". Economist Intelligence Unit. 16 March 2016. Retrieved 2 April 2016.
  16. "European Commission, Energy, 2015 Progress Reports, Sweden". Retrieved 10 January 2018.
  17. Swedish Energy Agency (30 November 2015). "Electricity supply and use 2001–2014 (GWh)". Statistics Sweden. Archived from the original on 16 March 2016. Retrieved 2 April 2016.
  18. "Energy use in Sweden". Swedish Institute. 22 January 2016. Retrieved 2 April 2016.
  19. "Sweden - The Electricity Certificate System". International Energy Agency. 11 March 2014. Retrieved 2 April 2016.
  20. "The Electricity Certificate System". Swedish Energy Agency. 20 October 2015. Retrieved 2 April 2016.
  21. "Support for renewables, concessions for nuclear in energy deal". SR International – Radio Sweden. 10 June 2016. Retrieved 23 January 2017.
  22. William Steel (16 June 2016). "ANALYSIS: Mixed picture for wind as Sweden plots all-renewable route". RECHARGE. Retrieved 23 January 2017.
  23. "Renewables 2014 Global Status Report, page 70" (PDF).
  24. Significant increase in energy from wind power Archived 19 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine The Swedish Energy Agency
  25. Energiläget i siffror 2014 18: Sveriges elproduktion per kraftslag och total elanvändning 1970–2012
  26. "Electricity supply and use 2001–2015 (GWh)". Statistics Sweden. 30 November 2016. Retrieved 6 February 2017.
  27. Atle Staalesen (23 August 2016). "Sweden is Europe's quickest growing on wind power". The Independent Barents Observer. Retrieved 6 February 2017.
  28. "the advanced energy [r]evolution : A SUSTAINABLE ENERGY OUTLOOK FOR SWEDEN" (PDF). Retrieved 10 January 2018.
  29. "Renewables 2014 Global Status Report, page 56" (PDF). Retrieved 10 January 2018.
  30. EWEA Staff (2010). "Cumulative installed capacity per EU Member State 1998 - 2009 (MW)". European Wind Energy Association. Retrieved 22 May 2010.
  31. EWEA Staff (February 2011). "EWEA Annual Statistics 2010" (PDF). European Wind Energy Association. Retrieved 31 January 2011.
  32. EWEA Staff (February 2012). "EWEA Annual Statistics 2011" (PDF). European Wind Energy Association. Retrieved 18 February 2011.
  33. Wind in power: 2012 European statistics February 2013
  34. EWEA Staff (February 2014). "EWEA Annual Statistics 2013" (PDF). European Wind Energy Association. Retrieved 11 February 2014.
  35. EWEA Staff (February 2015). "EWEA Annual Statistics 2014" (PDF). European Wind Energy Association. Retrieved 11 February 2015.
  36. EWEA: "Wind in power: 2014 European statistics", February 2014
  37. "Wave Power - Department of Engineering Science".
  38. Ivan Shumkov (26 March 2015). "Sweden doubles solar power capacity to 79.4 MW in 2014". SeeNews. Retrieved 16 June 2015.
  39. Johan Lindahl (10 October 2017). "National Survey Report of PV Power Applications in Sweden - 2016". International Energy Agency - Photovoltaic Power Systems Programme. p. 8. Retrieved 21 January 2018.
  40. Joshua Hill (9 May 2019). "Sweden looks to more solar to reach 100% renewables by 2045". Retrieved 16 October 2019.
  41. GlobalData Energy (14 August 2019). "Solar PV and wind to lead Swedish renewable growth over next decade". Retrieved 16 October 2019.
  42. "National Survey Report of PV Power Applications in Sweden 2018". International Energy Agency - Photovoltaic Power Systems Programme. 26 August 2019. p. 18/69. Retrieved 16 October 2019.
  43. "Renewables 2014 Global Status Report, page 29" (PDF). Retrieved 10 January 2018.
  44. "Sustainable bioliquids 2011". Archived from the original on 18 April 2013. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
  45. "Renewables 2014 Global Status Report, page 35+37" (PDF). Retrieved 10 January 2018.
  46. Gillin, Kristina (27 February 2020). "Nuclear decommissioning in Sweden: A priority for the 2020s". NS Energy. Retrieved 3 June 2020.
  47. "NGOs demand place for nuclear in EU Taxonomy : Energy & Environment - World Nuclear News". World Nuclear News. 29 April 2020. Retrieved 3 June 2020.
  48. "What should we do with radioactive nuclear waste?". the Guardian. 1 August 2019. Retrieved 3 June 2020.
  49. World carbon dioxide emissions data by country: China speeds ahead of the rest, The Guardian, 31 January 2011
  50. world carbon dioxide emissions country data co2, The Guardian, 31 January 2011