Open guest lecture: Energy in Sweden

  • Date:
  • Location: Ångströmlaboratoriet, Lägerhyddsvägen 1 Å80121
  • Lecturer: Anders Wik, Head of Nuclear Generation R&D at Vattenfall
  • Contact person: Göran Ericsson
  • Seminarium

Electricity was recognized as the most important achievement during the 20th century according to National Academy of Engineering in the United States. The importance of electricity in everyday life cannot be underestimated. From coal fires steam boilers over hydro power and nuclear power till todays wind and solar the importance of electricity prevails. The use of electricity started with lighting and power to electric motors but today it is used for almost everything in our life; stoves, heating, computers, mobile phones and many, many other things. In short, it is hard to imagine a modern society without electricity.

The electricity market has become a mature market with a moderate growth. This means that the focus has shifted from meeting an ever growing demand to a more sustainable view of how energy shall be used. The European Union has the ambition that the electricity market shall meet, and solve the “energy trilemma” meaning; i) Security of Supply, ii) Competitiveness, iii) Sustainability. This has put a pressure on all member states to take action in different ways depending on the way electricity is generated in the countries.

The Paris Agreement put even more focus on combating Greenhouse Gas emission where Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is predominant. This has resulted worldwide in a large extension of renewables, mainly wind power but also photovoltaics. In recent years there has been a renewed interest in nuclear power and CCS, Carbon Capture and Storage as these generation technologies provides base load.

The Nordic countries has quite different prerequisites where Norway, Iceland and Sweden are almost fossil free in the electricity generation while Denmark and Finland still have some coal and gas in the portfolio. The situation of low CO2-emitting electricity has led to a growing interest to invest in power consuming industries in the Nordic countries as they will give a lesser carbon footprint compared with many other countries. To a great extent energy savings is balancing  the new areas of use such as electric vehicles, data centers and the electrification of industrial processes, e.g. steel making. Renewable and fossil free electricity is regarded to have a key in the transition from a fossil based industry to more environmental friendly processes, e.g. steel making, cement industry, electric fuels etc.

This lecture will give an overview of how the Swedish and Nordic market has developed and the driving forces that has shaped the electric industry. The lecture will also give some possible outlooks of how the transformation of the industry will look like. The impact of new generation technologies will also be discussed in the time frame of today to 2045.