Sweden is presently carrying out a gigantic programme to achieve a more sustainable society. Energy questions are, of course, important issues in this context. A long-term programme has started in order to develop an ecologically sustainable energy supply system and reach a more efficient use of energy. Nuclear power will be abolished. There is a political decision to close down one reactor this year. Efforts are being made to reduce electricity consumption and simulate electricity production from renewable energy sources. The use of biofuels, wind power, hydro-electric power and heat storage techniques will be stimulated.

The energy conversion programme, together with other programmes for sustainable development, will cost roughly SEK 18 billion from the state over a period of about seven years (where SEK is the Swedish krona). This includes measures taken by local authorities throughout the county with the support of special government investment subsidies. A special knowledge centre for sustainable development is also planned.

A new central authority has been set up: the Swedish National Energy Administration. It supports R&D on renewable energy sources and technology procurement of energy-efficient products, and provides investment support for the development of renewable energy. The Swedish Council for Building Research conducts an R&D programme on sustainable energy in the built environment, including both energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy sources.

The main sources of renewable energy in Sweden are bio-energy, hydropower, wind power and solar energy for heating purposes. About half of Sweden's electricity today is produced by hydropower. Bioenergy will play a much more important role in Sweden. Wind power will also have a role. Swedish large-scale solar heating technology is among the most cost-effective available. Energy storage technology is quite far developed in Sweden and several types of heat stores are in commercial use today.

Much of the R&D behind this development is conducted in collaboration with other countries through organisations such as the International Energy Agency and the European Commission. To share results from research, development and demonstration projects in different countries the way we do within CADDET is extremely valuable and I feel it will certainly, in its way, contribute to ecologically sustainable development in the world.

The CADDET Renewable Energy Newsletter is a quarterly magazine published by the CADDET Centre for Renewable Energy at ETSU, UK.

The articles published in the Newsletter reflect the opinions of the authors. They do not necessarily reflect the official view of CADDET.

Enquiries concerning the Newsletter should be addressed to
Pauline Toole, Editor, CADDET Centre for Renewable Energy, ETSU, Harwell, Oxfordshire OX11 0RA, United Kingdom. Tel: +44 1235 432968, Fax: +44 1235 433595.