Gotland, Sweden

Keywords: renewable energy region, 100% renewable energy self sufficiency region, Gotland, renewable energy in Gotland.

Gotland is the largest Swedish island[1] with population around 57,000.[2] This island is located in the middle of the Baltic Sea (Figure 1).[3] The island is 40% covered with forests and 31% of land area is used for grazing and arable land.[4] Due to the island is isolated, the economic growth is relatively low compared to other parts in Sweden.[3] High costs for transports of energy, goods and people have contributed to a non-dynamic growth of the local economy.[3][5]

Figure 1. Gotland in the Baltic Sea[6]

Agriculture is still important for the economy, but the number of employed is decreasing. The service sector accounts for approximately 40% of all jobs on the island. Tourism provides a significant numbers of jobs in hotels, restaurants, and related trades.[1] It also increases the population during summer.[6]

Energy Utilization
Total energy consumption is 4400 GWh/year. 65% of the energy used comes from fossil fuels. The two main users of fossil fuels are cement industry and transportation (Figure 2). Up to 2009, the island's oil import is decreasing.[6]

Figure 2. Energy Utilization[6]

A Centre for Sustainable Development
In 1992, the Municipal Council of Gotland decided to make Gotland an eco-municipality, with the goal of becoming a fully ecologically sustainable society by 2025.[2] On 14th October 1996 the Municipal Council of Gotland published the Eco-Program, which identifies the municipalities goal that "Gotland is to become an ecologically sustainable society within the course of a generation".[4] The energy needs are high.[1] The only solution was to turn to renewable energy.[3] Communities and individuals realized that they can not continue to drain natural resources of the earth. Sustainability will play a growing part not only in Gotland but also across the globe.[7]

Renewable Energy Development
Main Aim and Motivation
The target of achieving 100% renewable energy balance by 2025 has arisen from the municipalities plans to achieve a sustainable society within the course of a generation. The advantage of having a long-term plan with a specific year is that other planning which involves the production of short-term plans can become a part of the overall objective.[3][5]

The aim to develop an ecologically sustainable society has been reflected in many other plans and documents of the municipality. These plans have been approved by the elected representatives and were developed in consultation with local actors and the population at large.[4] Objective in 2025 can be viewed in Figure 3.

Figure 3. Objective in 2025[5]

Vision for the Future[6]
  • The visions foundation is the entire society will work together and shares the ambition to create a sustainable and ecologically based island.
  • The goal is to be a sustainable society with sufficient energy by 2025.
  • The use of renewable energy will contribute to society when it comes to social and economical growth for the island.
  • The work carried out in Gotland will contribute in a positive way and and help slow down the climate change.
  • For 2020 - Biogas LNG: low emissions, CO2 reduction is approximately 20%, biogas is locally produced.
  • For 2030 and beyond - Hydrogen: emission free transport to Gotland.

Vision 2010
Vision 2010 was approved by the municipal council in 1995 and shall be updated during 2003. The aims are: an increase in the use of renewable energy, an increase in energy efficiency, and to reduce the dependence on imported energy.[3]

Political Process[6]
  • 1992: Rio Summit - Agenda 21
  • 1994: A 3-year Eco Municipality project starts
  • 1996: The first environmental program approved
  • 1998: Gotland approves the first agenda 21 document
  • 2004: Energy plan 2010 approved
  • 2007: Revised energy plan 2010
  • 2008: Revised environmental program approved
  • 2008: Vision Gotland 2025 approved and implemented

Energy 2005
In the energy plan "Energi 2005" concrete targets are defined for the energy sector. The plan was approved by the municipal council in 1999 and shall be updated during 2003. Some of the aims outlined are:[3]
  • Increase the amount of renewable energy in the energy system, by eg. 120MW of wind power by 2005.
  • Work towards an increase in energy efficiency in old and new buildings.
  • Reduce the amount of electricity used for heating.
  • Work for an expansion of the district heating networks.
  • Prepare a long term plan for a sustainable energy supply (2025).

Strategy for 2007 - 2010[6]
  • Reduced the demand of fossil fuels
  • Organize the need for transport and develop systems for sustainable communications
  • Reduce energy needs in buildings
  • Technical equipment will be chosen carefully

Figures Set Out for 2010[6]
  • The maximum utilization of fossil fuels for electricity, heating, and transportation should not exceed 55%
  • Installed wind energy systems should reach at least 160 MW
  • District heating should use at least 95% renewable and recycled energy sources
  • The amount of renewable energy used for transportation should be a minimum of 8%
  • A new vision should be approved by ambition targets

Energy 2010[6]
  • Reducing the use of materials that are found in nature and are non-renewable.
  • Reducing pollution from production and the use of energy by: preserving natures on renewable production and the variety; and developing a society with effective sustainable use of resources to fulfill mankind's basic needs.

The transition has been successful and the success based on some factors. The most important is cooperation in a positive spirit between individuals, the commune, and private companies. The commune has shown the way towards a sustainable energy systems, through visionary plans and initiatives.[1] Currently, renewable energy accounts for around 10% of the island's total supply.[7]

  • An energy plan has been outlining development to 2005. In this plan the target is 40% from sustainable energy sources by 2005. A plan for 100% renewable by 2025 is now in the progress.
  • 95% of the island's district heating is supplied by renewable energy
  • 20% of the island's electricity comes from renewable
  • Bio-climatic, sustainable building are being built
  • Energy saving measures are implemented widespread
  • Heating systems are being converted to biomass and solar energy
  • Bio-diesel is replacing fossil fuels in municipal fleets
  • The use of fuel-cells as a part of solar hydrogen transport system is being developed

Gotland Energy Agency
Gotland regional energy agency was established as a SAVE energy agency in 1996. Its activities include raising awareness of energy issues at local authority level, dissemination of information on energy management and supporting the sustainable development of local renewable energy resources for the island. One of the experience in promoting sustainable energy projects is "The Sustainable Society-Energy and Environment Projects on Gotland. This project involved the production and distribution of brochures in 3 languages and the installation of interpretation boards at visitor locations. It has a wide network of contacts with local, national and international organizations that would be recipients of the project results.[9]

The Campaign for Take-Off
Gotland's Municipality has signed a partnership declaration with the European Commission and has been accepted as one of the 100 Renewable Energy Communities as outlined in the Campaign for Take-off. In the partnership declaration Gotland's objective to have a 100% renewable energy balance by 2025' and to work towards the realization of a sustainable society is outlined.[3] This campaign forms an integral part of the European Community Strategy and Action Plan for Renewable Energy Sources by 2010. It is designed to act as a catalyst for the development of key renewable energy sectors.[8]

TransPlan Project - Action Plan Gotland
Energy 2010 is a planning document showing a way toward a fossil free Gotland. The figures used in this document have been the basis for the calculation of the energy balances of the TransPlan spread sheets. A list of actions plan have been prepared based on the Energy 2010 document and after the discussions that took place during the three TransPlan training sessions (local stakeholders, civil servants from the Municipality, and the County government administration) in Gotland. Actions plan for Gotland are:[10]

  • Electricity savings in general
  • Savings in heat consumption in general
  • Develop more energy efficient traffic
  • Develop more solar heating
  • Conversion from individual oil and electricity heating to district heating, heat pumps or wood.
  • Develop wind power, from 100 MW to 160 MW
  • Develop local biogas production for transportation
  • Municipality Solid Waste (MSW) material used for energy
  • Introduction of electrical cars to replace fossil fuel for transportation

  • Introduce CHP in Visby district heating
  • Massive conversion to renewable
  • Massive wind power development
  • Massive biogas development
  • Electricity regulation
  • Ferry boats and air crafts – renewable fuels

Renewable Energy in Gotland
Gotland has a good renewable energy sources potential in wind, biomass, and solar energy (Figure 4).[3] Location of renewable energy installed in the island can be viewed in Figure 5.

Figure 4. Renewable energy in Gotland: a). biogas, b). wind power, c). solar power, d). wood chips (bio energy).[6]

Figure 5. Location of renewable energy installation in Gotland[7]

The municipality has approved a biogas strategy for Gotland[6] to increase biogas utilization in the island.[2] By 2012 minimum is about 3% and by 2015 minimum is around 8% (Figure 6). It was planned that the city buses will run on locally produced biogas (Figure 7) in spring 2010.[6] During 2009 there will be an active drive within the farming community on Gotland to encourage biogas production to fuel cars.[2]

Figure 6. Biogas - development potential in Gotland[6]

Figure 7. Biogas production in Gotland[6]

In biogas installation at The Agricultural College, Lövsta, methane produced will replace 50 m3 oil/year. The biogas installation will use farm manure as a fuel source. The manure will be used to produce methane gas that will provide heating for the college buildings - reducing the need to use oil. In additional, the manure is used as a fertilizer.[7]

Wind Power
Wind power has been used for many years and at one time over 500 traditional windmills provided power for the island’s communities.[7] The development began in the late 1980’s through the establishment of wind energy co-operatives.[6] At the beginning of 2000 there were over 130 wind turbines installed on the island with total energy production is around 130 GWh/year.[7] Now, there are almost 200 wind turbines,[8] providing over 20% of the island’s electricity.[2] The municipality has taken an active role in the promotion of wind power.[6] More than 2,000 households in Gotland own shares in wind power plants.[7] An electric vehicle project has been launched in the commercial sector with a view to having wind power as the basis for operating the vehicles.[2] The amount of electricity generated by wind power is expected to at least double within the next 5 years.[4] Clusters of wind turbines which is called wind farms or wind parks are:[7]
  • Näsudden (Figure 8): 80 wind power stations with an installed effect of circa 40MW.[7]
  • Bockstigen: 5 x 500kW turbines specially adapted for offshore use.[7] The first offshore wind farm (Figure 9), 2.5 MW, was built outside Gotland’s coast in 1996.[8]
  • Smöjen wind park: 2 x 500kW, 4 x 660 kW, and 4 x 1.5MW turbines with a total effect of
    9.64 MW.[7]
  • Storugns wind farm: 6 x 660 kW turbines with total effect of 3.96 MW.[7]

Figure 8. Wind turbines in Näsudden[6]

Figure 9. The first offshore wind farm in Bockstigen[8]

As well as large wind farms, single wind turbines are used to provide electricity for farms and factories. Due to the shortage of sites on land, there are plans to build more wind farms in the sea. The largest currently being planned is an 80MW installation to be located near Grötlingboudd off Gotland’s south-east coast.[7]

The use of fossil fuels in the district heating system in Visby (Figure 10) is gradually being phased out[8], the use of oil has been reduced by 75% since 1980 (Figure 11).[7] Today 95% of the energy supply is from renewable sources.[1][8] The biofuel glycerol is now used than oil for the coldest days of winter.[2] The district heating station (Figure 9) uses bark, wood chips, sawmill residues and forestry waste from a local by-products.[7][8] Biogas from the town’s landfill site and waste water treatment plant is also used to produce heat for the network. In addition to this a 10MW heat pump is used to extract ‘free’ heat from the sea. Altogether district-heating covers more than 75% of the city’s heating demands.[7]

Figure 10. District heating plant in Visby, the capital city of Gotland[6]

Figure 11. Energy supplied to district heating[7]

The district heating system for Slite uses oil in case the Cementa cement factory is unable to supply waste heat. In elsewhere only renewable and recovered energy are used in district heating. During 2008, power company GEAB expanded its district heating capacity by about 4 GWh and took on around 60 new customers. The work of phasing out oil and electricity for heating municipal properties has also generated some new custom for district heating.[2]

As part of it´s commitment to phase out from fossil fuel, the local authority on Gotland has acquired around 60 vehicles which can be fueled with RME. In Visby, Hemse and Slite there are now also commercial RME filling stations (Figure 12) for public use.[7]

Figure 12. RME filling station in Gotland[7]

Photovoltaic Electricity[7]
  • A new central library, Almedalsbiblioteket, Visby: a sea-water based cooling system is used than air conditioning. A sea-water based heat pump will provide heat. 50m2 photovoltaic panels (Figure 13) will produce electricity to drive the pumps.
  • High school building in Hansahuset, Säveskolan, Visby: 6m2 solar panels for providing hot water.
  • Recreational spa "Suderhälsan", Hamra: 35m2 solar panels.
  • Ecological buildings, Muramaris Art Centre, north of Visby: photovoltaic panels supply energy for the water fountains.

Figure 13. Photovoltaic panels installed on the roof of Visby Library[8]

Geothermal Energy[7]
  • A recreational spa "Suderhälsan", Hamra: 2 x 20 kW geothermal heat pumps.
  • Ecological buildings, Muramaris Art Centre, north of Visby: geothermal heating will eventually account for the entire complex’s heating supply.

Small Hydro Power
Rabbishuppet (Figure 14) produces ca. 100 MWh/year. The large turbine has a running-wheel diameter of 45 cm, receives 450 l water/sec., gives 18 kW power from the generator. The small turbine has a running wheel diameter of 28 cm, receives 250 l water/sec., gives ca. 9 kW power from the generator. With both turbines, the station can be used with a water flow from 50 l/sec. to 700 l/sec. The energy produced is primarily used to provide heating and lighting for a nearby greenhouse and any surplus electricity is sold to Gotland´s local electricity company.[7]

Figure 14. Small-scale hydro-electric generation ‘‘Rabbishuppet’’ in Ihreån[7]

Energy Savings
One of the targets was to have low energy consumption. In order to achieve these energy targets Gotland considered different technologies. For example, the sea was used in order to provide cooling and heating.[1] Besides, Re-using excess heat from industrial processes is one way that the overall energy demand on the island can be reduced.[4] Energy savings from space heating and electrical power consumption can be viewed in Figure 15 and 16 respectively.

Figure 15. Energy consumption for space heating 1998-2008[6]

Figure 16. Electricity power consumption 1998-2008[6]

Recycled Energy as Alternative Energy Sources
At the moment, the share of alternative fuels sum up to around one third. The alternative fuels are residue materials and wastes from other companies. These are materials, which cannot be reused or recycled. At the moment chopped car tires, sorted plastics and bone meal are used as alternative energy sources. The process requires very high temperatures. There are no ashes produced from this combustion. The ashes from the fuels are embedded as raw materials in the cement.[1]

CEMENTA, one of northern Europe’s largest cement factories, uses the surplus heat from the process for the district heating of the surrounding community. In addition, electricity is produced from the surplus heat.[1] Estimated electricity production is around 50 GWh/year and current electrical consumption is about 210 GWh/year. The plant (Figure 17) accounts for around 25% of Gotland´s total energy consumption. With the help of Vattenfall, the state owned electricity company. An installation to generate electricity using steam created from waste heat will be up and running during the year of 2000. This surplus production heat will provide an estimated 50GWh of electricity/year (a quarter of the factory’s energy demand). In addition to this excess waste heat is also supplied to nearby greenhouses.[7]

Figure 17. Electricity generation from industrial waste heat at Cementa, Slite[7]

Lesson Learned
Change in Perception of Implementing RES Projects (1999-2003)[5]
  • Interest in replacing fossil fuels is increasing among the general public. Acceptance of wind power by the local population to a great extent is influenced by whether or not some formof local benefit occurs as a result of any developments.
  • Politicians and civil servants have been informed about the ambitious energy and environmental targets already set. Technicians in the municipalities property department have been trained.

Main Innovative Aspects
  • The establishment of a long-term plan for energy sustainability, with a wide participation range (small and medium enterprises - SMEs, university, local authorities, regional energy agency and local utility)
  • The introduction of green certificates in the beginning of 2003.

Enabling Factors[5]
  • The aim to support sustainable development
  • National financial support for local energy management agencies.
  • 10% capital grants for wind power developments and power purchase support.
  • Support for municipal energy advisers.
  • 25% capital grant to domestic solar heating/hot water systems.
  • Grants for solar heating on public buildings and grants to convert domestic heating from electrical based systems.

Information Related

List of References
  1. European Islands Network on Energy & Environment: Gotland, Sweden. Accessed November 21, 2009.
  2. Gotland in Figures 2009. Accessed July 14, 2010.
  3. Report: The Island of Gotland - 100REN-ISLES - A Renewable Energy Plan - Sweden. Accessed November 21, 2009.
  4. The Municipality of Gotland: A Renewable Energy in the Baltic Sea. Accessed April 16, 2010.
  5. Campaign for Take Off: Sharing Skills and Achievements. Accessed April 16, 2010.
  6. Gotland - A Sustainable Island in the Baltic Sea. Accessed November 21, 2009.
  7. The Sustainable Energy and Environment Projects on Gotland Society. Accessed April 5, 2010.
  8. Gotland - A Renewable Energy Island in the Baltic Sea: Campaign for Take Off. Accessed April 5, 2010.
  9. Gotland Energy Agency. Accessed July 14, 2010.
  10. TransPlan Project Action Plan Gotland - Islands in the B7 Organization. Accessed November 21, 2009.