The potential role of energy communities in Sweden

University essay from Lunds universitet/Miljövetenskaplig utbildning

Abstract: To combat the ongoing climate change, a sustainable energy system is essential. In recognition of this, Sweden has set a national goal of 100% renewable energy by the year 2040. However, to reach this goal, it is important that efficient tools are utilized. The EU suggests that energy communities can act as one such tool. While research has shown that energy communities can entail several opportunities for the transition towards more renewable energy, there is a lack of studies conducted in a Swedish context. To help fill this gap, this study investigated the following topics: Opportunities and challenges coupled to the communities, important enablers for the communities and what views different actors in the energy system have on the role of energy communities. Lastly, the results were used to comment on the relevance of energy communities from a Swedish context. The information was collected through a review of existing scientific literature, as well as through interviews with actors in the Swedish energy system. The results of the study highlight that while there are opportunities coupled to energy communities in a Swedish context, the challenges outweigh them. This view is shared by the majority of the interviewed actors, even though some see more opportunities than others. Furthermore, Sweden has already invested in individual micro production, which fulfills a role competing with energy communities. However, if energy communities are to be implemented, it is essential to establish enabling measures such as a transparent regulatory framework. Ultimately, this study predicts that the impact of energy communities in the Swedish energy system will be limited.

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