The Gothenburg region has a proud history of using alternative energy sources, which continues into the present day and translates into innovative visions regarding the future of energy. The geographical proximity of the transport industry, coupled with investments in human resource planning, innovation and collaboration, make the energy industry one of the region’s most exciting.
Local innovations contribute to energy shift
Gothenburg has one of the most well-developed district heating systems in the world. Investments in wind and biogas are extensive, and the region is also home to a unique range of alternative fuel producers: Preem, which uses pine oil in its fuel production, and St1, which invests in bioethanol production, are just two examples. But innovative capacity is substantial along the whole chain – from production through to distribution to usage. The proximity to both the ICT and transport industries in the region acts as a boost for innovation, and the initiatives to find sustainable solutions for traffic on land, sea and air are many.
”Right now we are experiencing a veritable explosion in the region, with lots of exciting innovations being realised. This includes everything from solar energy and wave power to test beds, efficient production models and international collaborations in the fast-moving energy market.”
Lars Bern, Area Manager Energy and innovation
The public sector actors in the region have a strong focus on energy and sustainable solutions, and the same applies to Chalmers and the university’s courses and venture operations. There are also two important science parks: Lindholmen and Johanneberg.
Gothenburg began to develop its district heating network as far back as 1952, when the city’s first CHP plant, Rosenlund, was built. Today, Gothenburg is leading the EU project Celsius where we have the opportunity to share the knowledge we have about district heating and cooling, to help other cities in Europe to develop and optimise their district heating. The goal was to bring 50 cities into the project. Today the number is over 60.
Leads Sweden’s wind power development
Västra Götaland is at the top of the list when it comes to the expansion of wind power in Sweden. At the turn of the year 2013/2014, there were a total of 546 wind turbines, with a power output totalling 774 MW, which produced 1.7 TWh in 2014 in Västra Götaland. We have several local wind power companies and SKF is based here. Greenbyte is just one example of an exciting startup. Real estate owners such as Stena and Wallenstam have their own wind turbines and Balder has invested in wind power. There is a widespread establishment of wind power startups, which is expected to increase further. More electricity generated by wind power is positive from the environmental point of view and creates jobs.
Göteborg Wind Lab is a research centre for wind power and energy production technology that is run by SKF and Chalmers University of Technology, among others. Göteborg Energi has, together with Chalmers and General Electric, raised Sweden’s largest wind turbine here.
Visits from all over the world
Biogas is one of the future’s most important renewable fuels and has the advantage that it can be distributed via existing gas networks. Gothenburg has a well-developed gas network and strong connection to the automotive industry in respect of both passenger cars and heavier vehicles. Göteborg Energi’s investment into the production of biogas through the gasification of biofuel and forestry waste. The facility receives many visits by international delegations from other cities and regions, which come here to be inspired and to learn how to work with renewable energy. It is a facility that operates in alignment with the EU’s objectives concerning research and development, climate change and energy.
Gothenburg tests innovative energy market
Thanks to a 50 million kronor contribution from the EU, the Fossil Free Energy District (FED) is starting up in Gothenburg. At Chalmers Campus Johanneberg, a new way to transfer and trade in surplus energy will be tested. The EU wants to give Europe’s cities the chance to test new innovative solutions to challenges such as migration and energy. From many strong competitors, the City of Gothenburg’s application was selected. The City has assigned the coordinating role for the project to Johanneberg Science Park. The project has been up and running since 2017. Learn more >
We can help you
You can turn to Business Region Göteborg for information about the energy industry in Western Sweden, to find out where they meet and who to approach regarding different matters. Are you an energy company, supplier to the energy industry or a start-up in the industry, or perhaps a real estate company? We establish contacts and create or contribute to meeting places, which you can find useful in your business. We help you when you want to increase your collaboration with large and small companies, universities, the public sector and other industries. Among other things, we arrange the annual Power Circle Summit Conference and were involved in the founding of Biogas Väst. Our mission is also to promote Gothenburg and to help forge paths out in to the global market for energy industry companies based in Western Sweden.
Our focus areas within the field of energy are those areas where the Gothenburg region is strong, namely district heating/cooling, solar energy, biogas, wind power and electric vehicles (especially the charging infrastructure).
Did you know…
...Gothenburg’s district heating network is today almost 750 miles long and stretches from Ale in the north to Askim in the south.
... Big Glenn is not only Sweden’s largest wind turbine, but also a research station for offshore wind power. Each full rotation of the blades generates enough electricity to power an electric car for 12.4 miles.
... Gothenburg was very early to map areas of land in the municipality with the potential for solar parks.