International Study of RE-Regions: Kalmar County Council, Sweden

Keywords: renewable energy region, 100% renewable energy self sufficiency region, Kalmar County, renewable energy in Kalmar County

Kalmar County is a county in southern Sweden[1] and in the center of Baltic Sea Region (Figure 1). This county has already managed to get the region moving on climate issue on a massive scale.[2] In Sweden, Kalmar County intends on becoming a pioneer in the work to reduce the negative impact on the climate caused by emissions while simultaneously achieving sustainable growth.[3] Now, 2/3 of the region’s energy already comes from renewable sources.[2]By 2030, the county intends to become a fossil fuel free region.[3]

A Sustainable County

The Swedish Energy Agency coordinates a national programme called “Uthållig Kommun” meaning sustainable community. Participating municipalities are required to conduct a thorough review of their activities and to decrease greenhouse gas emissions while promoting both trade and industry. All local authorities in Kalmar County are involved. The county has been appointed as a national pilot area in which several pilot area will be implemented.[6]

The Climate Commission

This commission consists of eleven representatives from the county’s business and public sectors. The goals of the commission are to reduce carbon dioxide emissions within the county, and by taking tough action on environmental issues, create new work opportunities within the rapidly growing environmental technology sector.[6]

Wind Power


Kalmar County is a pioneer of wind power in Sweden. Its coastal location and the island of Öland offer ideal natural conditions for wind power utilization. There are presently 75 wind turbines installed with a total capacity of 61,5 MW, but much more is to come. The County Administrative Board closely cooperates with municipal authorities to ease the establishment of wind power projects, both on-shore and off-shore.[3]

  • “Utgrunden I” in the water of Kalmarsund became one of the first offshore wind farms in the world using megawatt wind turbines. Seven GE-turbines give the park a total capacity of 10 MW.
  • Kalmarsund Wind, economic association for environmentally friendly and cheap electricity.

In August 2007, Kalmar Energy made a decision to build a new biofuel-powered heat and power plant at Moskogen, between Kalmar and Nybro. The 90 MW plant will produce 140 GWh of electricity and 360 GWh of district heating per year from renewable biofuel from the region.

Kalmar Energy

Kalmar Energy is local energy company in Kalmar County Council. The majority of the sales occur in the Kalmar Region. The electric power network carries the majority of the electricity used in Kalmar.

Small Scale District Heating

Nearly all towns and bigger villages are connected to district heating systems using renewable energy sources. Nowadays, also small scale district heating is introduced. Small scale district heating plants in Borgholm and Alsterbro can be viewed in Picture 3 and Picture 4.[3]


Heating and Electricity from Wood Mill Industry

Södra Cell Mönsterås is a big producer of pulp, but also of renewable energy. It hproduces 650 GWh of electricity which 90 GWh is sold externally. Roughly half of the wood brought into the mill goes to pulp, the rest becomes heating and electricity. To get the most out of the system, the mill’s heating logistics are regularly reviewed and expanded, with the goal to replace all fossil fuel in the mill.[11]

Public Transport uses Renewable Energy

Kalmar County’s 12 local authorities, together with the County Council, have completed the procurement process regarding public transportation for the county during the period of 2008-2014. Since August 2008, 53% of all buses in Kalmar County use renewable energy sources (biogas and RME) and the emissions of fossil carbon dioxide have decreased with 43%. By the year of 2020, all public paid transports in Kalmar County is supposed to be fossil fuel free.[12]

Clean Vehicles in Kalmar County – Eco Cars

To reach the goal of becoming fossil fuel free by the year 2030 in Kalmar County, it is needed to reach a more sustainable transport sector. A part goal in this process is that the municipalities and the county council in Kalmar County at latest 2010 will buy and rent clean vehicles only.[13]In Kalmar County, companies, local authorities and others are eligible to receive a subsidy for purchasing eco-cars. The local authorities within the region have completed a joint tender process for the procurement of eco-cars. The goals are to increase the total number of eco-cars in the county, help increase the number of service stations for such vehicles and force down prices. From 2005 to 2008, the number of eco-cars increased from 200 to 3000. The county has now also introduced electric cars in local elderly care – that is, cars run on wind power.[6]

The World’s First Biogas Train

Replacing its biodiesel-powered prodecessor, the World’s first biogas train is in operation on the Tjust line between Västervik and Linköping. Cooperation is ongoing with the aim of building a regional infrastructure and market for biogas cars and a local production of biogas.[6]