Swedish agriculture has advanced a long way in the transition to renewable energy in heating and electricity. What remains is to convert tractors and working machines to renewable fuels and electricity.
In 2018, the use of energy in agriculture was 5.9 TWh, of which 2.4 TWh came from diesel fuel and 1.3 TWh from biofuel.
The work of the agricultural sector in the field of renewable energy is divided into three areas: streamlining, producing/selling and transition to renewable energy. Energy efficiency on farms is a developing process that has been going on for many years. Technical adaptation, new equipment and major investments contribute to this development.
Renewable energy production is growing and the greatest increase just now at farm level is investment in solar cells. Interest in biogas is also strong and the potential is high but unfortunately there has been a slowdown in expansion of installations in recent years. As the production of biogas is stimulated, for example, in Denmark and the use of biogas is stimulated in Sweden — regardless of where the gas is produced — the use of biogas is increasing without any increase in the domestic production of biogas. Renewable
energy transition is well advanced in the area of heating of farm buildings and houses. In the case of fuel for tractors and drying of cereals, there is still much to be done.
Production of solar electricity is steadily increasing and in 2018 production amounted to 53 GWh and 2,500 agricultural companies have installed solar cells. In 2018 there were 44 on-farm plants producing biogas. In addition to the on-farm plants, more than 100 farms deliver manure to 21 of the 36 co-digestion plants in the country.
Biogas consumption is increasing in Sweden, but the increase consists of biogas from Denmark. The potential for a sustainable increase in the extraction of agri-based biomass is currently estimated at an average of 18 to 20 TWh per year. The potential is estimated to increase to about 35 to 40 TWh, but the uncertainty is due to ecological constraints as well as to increased competition for arable land for food production.c