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IEA Report Highlights Sweden’s Progress Towards a Low-Carbon Economy

IEA5 February 2013: A review of Sweden's energy policy published by the International Energy Agency (IEA) indicates that Sweden's trajectory towards a low-carbon economy is on track, although challenges remain. The review recommends that Sweden should, inter alia, develop an action plan to realize the 2030 target for achieving a fossil fuel-free vehicle fleet and increase investment in clean energy technologies, including smart grids, biofuels, and carbon capture and storage (CCS).

Sweden is cited as one of the leaders amongst IEA member countries in terms of renewable energy in the overall energy supply with strong advancement in biomass and onshore wind. The report notes that Sweden's export-oriented manufacturing and engineering base, although a driver for economic advancement, is very energy intensive.

It calls for emissions reductions in the 2030-2050 period to entail energy efficiency increases in industry and buildings, as well as reductions in energy-intensive sectors. Notably, the report underlines that Sweden has increased deployment of energy technologies, including smart grids and second-generation biofuels. These achievements have been made through special demonstration funding, a soft loan programme and the new CleanTech Strategy that supports innovative enterprises, innovation clusters and technology incubators.

The report recommends that Sweden: develop an action plan to realize the 2030 target for achieving a fossil fuel-free vehicle fleet; develop a shared vision for decarbonizing the Swedish economy through the implementation of a long-term pathway analysis for the 2050 vision of zero net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions; remove barriers to participation in the retail electricity market through the use of effective electricity pricing, third-party meter data and information management; increase energy efficiency by encouraging renewable energy use in buildings, promote energy savings in industry and energy efficiency in the heating sector; and increase investment in the clean energy technologies, including smart grids, biofuels and CCS, through research, development, demonstration & deployment (RDD&D) support, cooperation and joint planning at regional level. [IEA Press Release] [Publication: Energy Policies of IEA Countries - Sweden - 2013 Review]