Renewable Energy

Over 47 per cent of all energy that is used in Sweden comes from renewable energy sources. Biomass and hydropower makes up the largest share, but wind power is increasing and is expected to become a larger share of the Swedish energy system. Sweden's share of renewable energy is by far the largest in comparison with other countries in the EU.

Targets for renewable energy

Sweden's target for the share of renewable energy in the year 2020 is 49 per cent according to EU's Directive on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources 2009/28/EC. Furthermore, Sweden has a national target for the share of renewable energy in the year 2020 of 50 per cent. Sweden also has, as all other EU member states, a target for renewable energy in transport by 2020 of at least 10 per cent.

Sweden is expected to fulfil the overall target for the share of renewable as well as the target for renewable energy in transport. According to projections from the Swedish Energy Agency the overall share for renewable energy by 2020 is expected to be 50.2 per cent and for transport 10.4 per cent.

Policy instruments

Sweden has a long tradition of promoting renewable energy. Energy taxes were introduced already several decades ago and a special carbon dioxide tax was introduced in the 1990s which has had a strong impact on promoting the use of biomass in Sweden. A green electricity certificate system was introduced in 2003 in order to promote electricity from renewable energy sources.

The green electricity certificate system

The green electricity certificate system is the main support scheme for renewable electricity production in Sweden. It is a market-based support scheme for the expansion of electricity production based on renewable energy sources and peat. The system was put in place in Sweden 2003 and has been a national system up until 2011.

In 2010 the Riksdag decided on a higher target for the green electricity certificate system and on the extension of the scheme to the year 2035. The current target will increase the production of renewable and peat-based electricity production with 25 TWh by 2020 compared with 2002 years production. So far it has been biomass based electricity which has got the largest share of green electricity certificates, followed by wind power and small scale and refurbished hydro power. Wind power is increasing rapidly from a production of 1 TWh 2006 to a production over 6 TWh 2011.

A common green electricity certificate system between Sweden and Norway

Since the 1st of January 2012 the Swedish electricity certificate system has been expanded and has become a common Swedish-Norwegian market for electricity certificates. This means that certificates issued in Norway can be used for the fulfilment of the quota obligation according to the Swedish Law on electricity certificates and vice versa. The target for the common market is to increase the electricity production based on renewable energy sources in Sweden and Norway by 26.4 TWh from 2012 to 2020. The result in form of new renewable electricity production is for accounting purposes split evenly between the two countries regardless of where the new production is located. The joint Swedish-Norwegian support scheme is the first example of the so called cooperation mechanisms under the EU Renewables Directive.

You will find the agreement between Sweden and Norway on the right hand side of the page.

Other policy instruments

Besides general and market based instrument some other measures have been used in Sweden in order to increase the use of renewable energy. For example financial support for the physical planning of wind power, financial support for wind power projects which has special relevance for bringing down establishment costs and gaining experience and support for the installation of PV installations.