Electricity sector

Swedish electricity production is 98 percent fossil free. The industry’s efforts to implement the roadmap therefore largely involve examining how, by means of electrification, the energy sector can facilitate a national energy transition away from fossil fuels.

Targets in roadmap

2030: Fossil-free electricity production.
2045: Meet demand for fossil-free electricity in balance with other societal targets: security of supply, competitiveness and sustainability. This means that the electricity sector will expand and develop the electricity system in pace with growing customer demand for electricity.

The industry is implementing the roadmap

A number of major energy-intensive investments have been presented since the roadmap was drawn up. The latest scenario analysis by industry organisation Swedenergy (Energiföretagen Sverige) shows that demand for fossil free electricity may increase by 120 percent by 2045. In practice, this would mean that there is a need for a completely new electricity system in 25 years, while the existing system requires maintenance and reinvestment.

Swedenergy is responsible for the process of implementing the roadmap and in the Roadmap Energy project, they have worked further on clearly setting out the challenges for politicians regarding the regulations and the market models described in the roadmap for the electricity sector and the roadmap for the heating industry. Thirteen timelines have been produced in broad collaboration with stakeholders involved and based on a system perspective, concrete proposals are described for what needs to be done, by whom and when to be fossil free by 2045.

Progress since the roadmap was launched

Major growth in wind power

Since January 2020, 439 wind turbines with an estimated annual electricity production of approximately 5 TWh have been taken into operation. Today, wind power accounts for approximately 20 percent of Sweden’s electricity production and the many projects currently in the planning phase will see this proportion increase even further.

SWITCH – part of the solution to the capacity shortage

E.ON has developed the SWITCH platform, which allows power grid owners to create their own marketplace with connected electricity consumers and electricity producers – flex suppliers. The power grid owner can then purchase the power from the flex suppliers and use it to avoid overload or to resolve bottlenecks in the electricity grid.

Skellefteå Kraft expands power for hydropower

Power company Skellefteå Kraft is making big investments in the Rengård hydropower plant in the Skellefteälven river, where renovation and an additional turbine will double capacity from 35 MW to 70 MW. The investment will also improve the ability of other power stations to regulate flows in the river, giving Skellefteälven even greater capacity to contribute to the electrification of society.

Collaboration with industry

Many energy companies are deeply engaged in industrial investments such as HYBRIT (Vattenfall), Northvolt (Skellefteå Kraft) amd Liquid Wind (Övik Energi and Uniper).

The investments demand huge amounts of electricity but can also create value for the energy system by sending waste heat to district heating and through demand flexibility via hydrogen storage.

Industry challenges

The current long permit processes for electricity grids pose a major obstacle to the expansion of the electricity system. Shorter lead times are essential to investments in electrifying industry and producing hydrogen gas.

Today wind power is mainly being build in Sweden. Solar power is also increasing significantly, however from low levels. This creates a need for solutions capable of delivering critical weather-independent support services to create a balance to retain security of supply in the system. As the proportion of planable power falls, such services will become increasingly crucial to maintaining a balanced electricity system. There are no incentives for such services at the moment. In general terms, the function of the electricity market needs to be reviewed so as to ensure the investments in electricity production that are needed if customers are to risk investing in electrification.