Sweden’s Future Electricity production – a project report

IVA’s Electricity Crossroads project has published its second project report on the future of Sweden’s electricity production. The report describes the great potential of several fossil-free options.

More solar and wind, more bioenergy, new nuclear power or more hydropower are the options presented in the report under the heading Sweden’s Future Electricity production. The time perspective is 2030–2050.

There is huge potential for an increase in wind power production capacity from today’s 15 TWh to 60–70 TWh. But this will require substantial investments in the grid, cables to other countries and energy storage technology. Solar could also increase from today’s low level of 0.1 TWh to 20 TWh, but investments in storage technology will be necessary. A scenario involving such a high proportion of solar and wind would also require other types of flexible electricity production to be on standby for use when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining.

Biofuel-based electricity production has the potential to increase from today’s 20 TWh to max 60 TWh. This will require significant investments in new technology and more efficient extraction of biomass within the forest industry.

Sweden could also invest in new nuclear power. The most critical factor for this option is ensuring that Sweden has the right skills and expertise in the area. There is limited potential of around 5–6 TWh in further efficiency improvement and expansion of hydropower, but a change in the law would enable a radical increase in the gross potential of hydropower – up to around 100 TWh overall.

One conclusion in the report in that there are several paths for Sweden to choose from to achieve a fossil-free power system and the four options described involve about the same production costs. What differentiates the options is that they require different amounts of investment in transmission capacity and power reserves.

Read online  Download PDF