Category 18 April 2019

Reduce the need for fossil fuels by introducing more renewable energy in the Swedish island of Gotland

The Municipality of Gotland strives to reduce the need for fossil fuels and instead focus on using a larger share of renewable energy. By the combination of an environmental plan for a sustainable society and providing incentives to companies and private households, the municipality aims to change energy consumption and create a more sustainable life for residents.

The challenge

The current use of fossils fuels for heat, electricity, and transport has great impacts on climate, environment and human health. The use of fossil fuels must be drastically reduced, in order to improve environmental quality and create a more sustainable society.

The measure

The Gotland Municipality has introduced an environmental policy that aims to "phase out" fossil fuel use and switch to renewable energy, in order to contribute to socially, economically and environmentally sustainable development, by promoting sustainability criteria. The energy plan for Gotland, an island in Sweden, is based on a vision where the whole Gotland will contribute to  sustainable living, of which power consumption is an important part. The purpose of the municipality's energy plan is to achieve a sustainable, carbon-neutral energy supply before 2025, by increasing the use of the renewable energy on the island. Achieving this requires active participation of all sectors. The energy plan highlights the environmental impacts of various energy systems and demonstrates ways to reduce their environmental impact. The Municipality of Gotland can affect energy consumption through direct or indirect control of traffic, streets, parking spaces, the municipality's own energy and fuel consumption, building permits, waste, water, sewer systems, etc. The energy plan also offers support to business through involvement in various projects and partnerships concerning energy.

An important part of the municipality's plan is to provide incentives and motivate businesses and households to change their energy consumption. The energy companies Gotlands Energi AB and Vattenfall are important actors and partners in providing incentives and the opportunity to choose renewable energy (venture capital for development, demonstration and commercial exploitation). The municipality's strategy is to reduce dependence on fossil fuels through improving energy efficiency and greater use of sustainable energy sources. Fossil fuels shall be replaced by renewable energy and recycled energy and the availability of renewable energy sources will be developed locally.

Lessons learnt

Gotland has great potential for increasing the share of energy from renewable sources
through the deployment of wind and solar power and by using more bioenergy from agriculture and forestry. This is because there is a lot of farmland, wind and hours of sunshine available on the island.

Further deployment

By using new fuels, the cooperation between local farms and private businesses was increased in order to reduce fossil fuel consumption on Gotland. Since the full scale implementation of the concept has been assessed and evaluated positive, the concept is estimated to be 7 on the GML scale.


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