Göteborg Energi, Gothenburg’s main energy and heat provider, has ramped up its sustainability efforts and aims to be fossil free by 2025 – five years ahead of schedule. On 24 February, the company presented a list of its 70 most important measures for Gothenburg.
“Gothenburg has the opportunity to be one of the world’s most sustainable cities,” said Alf Engqvist, CEO at Göteborg Energi, to Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter.
Sweden’s largest municipally owned energy company has raised its climate and sustainability ambitions significantly. When it comes to district heating, for example, in the future this will come entirely from renewable or recycled sources. Göteborg Energi’s district heating solution supplies heat to 90 per cent of Gothenburg’s apartments as well as 12,000 houses as well as many factories, offices and public buildings. Previously the company’s goal was to be fossil free by 2030, but now it has decided to do it by 2025.
“We take the climate issue very seriously and together we must do whatever we can to reverse the development. Even though we have worked for a long time with sustainable energy solutions in Gothenburg, we see how demands from our customers have increased. People are demanding action and want to know what we are actually doing to create a sustainable society. That’s why we have chosen to openly and concretely talk about our work. At the same time, we have raised our ambitions substantially,” said Alf Engqvist in a press release.
The list includes both minor and major measures within environmental, social and economic sustainability. A few examples include work experience opportunities for newly arrived immigrants, storing solar energy in bus batteries, new solar farms and using recycled energy from data centres to help urban agriculture.
“There isn’t one solution for how we create a more sustainable Gothenburg – it requires many. We have come a long way and now it’s about digging even deeper into both the big and the small; no matter whether it’s billion kronor investments in district heating, major investments in charging infrastructure for electric vehicles, more solar farms or other initiatives such as cargo bikes and sustainability scholarships,” says Eric Zinn, head of sustainability at Göteborg Energi.
A few examples of the measures being implemented by Göteborg Energi:
All buses will run on electricity: Göteborg Energi will help public transport operator Västtrafik with electric infrastructure so that all urban services in Gothenburg are electric by 2030 at the latest.
Reduce the climate impact of district cooling: In order to reduce the climate impact of district heating and cooling even further, the use of the most harmful refrigerants that used for transport warmth must decrease. Göteborg Energi is investigating less harmful alternatives.
New technology for fossil free heat and power station: The Rya plant produces both district heating and electricity. The site has an important role in Gothenburg’s energy supply. By 2025 at the latest, the ambition is that all district heating in Gothenburg is produced by renewable or recycled energy sources.
Accumulation tanks for storing heat: With the help of an accumulation tank, energy can be stored that would have otherwise been wasted. The tank works like a thermos and when demand for heating is lower, heat is stored in the tank. The heat is then used when demand is higher, which means that fossil-based heating stations are not needed to the same extent.