Sweden

Index rank 03

Balance Score

AAA

Energy Sustainability Index Rankings and Balance Score

 2011  2012  2013  Trend Score
Energy Performance  3  4  4   
Energy Security  13  18  24  A
Energy Equity  26  21  14  A
Environmental Sustainability  6  8  6  A
         
Contextual Performance  9  6  5   
Political Strength  6  5  4   
Societal Strength  3  2  2   
Economic Strength  30  29  26   
         
Overall Rank  3  3  3  AAA
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Fossil Fuel Reserves

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Key Metrics

Industrial sector (% of GDP) 27.3
TPEP / TPEC  (net energy importer) 0.61
Emission intensity (kg CO2 per USD) 0.13
Energy affordability (USD per kWh) 0.22
GDP / capita (PPP, USD); GDP Group 40,229 (I)
Energy intensity (million BTU per USD) 0.15
CO2 emissions (metric tons CO2 per capita) 4.44
Population Access to Electricity (%) 100.0
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Index Commentary

Sweden continues its exceptional performance in the Index and retains its ranking. As a “Pack Leader”, Sweden exhibits strong, well-balanced performance on all three energy dimensions. Energy security slipped in recent years and continues to be Sweden’s least-strong dimension as the further diversification of the electricity mix is offset by increasing energy consumption. Performance on the energy equity dimension improves, as Sweden maintains high-quality and affordable energy services. The country’s mitigation of its impact on the environment continues to rank among the best in the world, with comparatively low emissions intensity and air and water pollution levels. Part of Sweden’s success on the environmental sustainability dimension is undoubtedly due to its diverse low and no-carbon energy mix, with 45% of its electricity generation coming from hydro, 38% from nuclear, and 12% from other renewable sources. Only 5% of electricity is generated using fossil fuels, and almost all oil plants have been either shut down or relegated to reserve use. Sweden performs extremely well on indicators of political and societal strength, with economic strength trailing slightly behind due solely to the country’s high cost of living.

Trends and Outlook

In order to maintain a high Index ranking, a key issue for Sweden is to make the transportation sector sustainable. Currently, the transportation sector (except trains, metro and trams) relies on fossil fuels. Special policies and financial support to incentivize the purchase of electric cars are in place, but results are not yet fulfilling expectations. Improvements have been made in terms of increasing the share of biofuels. The EU target to increase the share of biofuels used in transport to 10% by 2020 will be achieved several years in advance, and is close to 10% already. This is mostly due to blending of ethanol and other biofuels in gasoline and diesel, and an increased number of cars running on biogas.

Sweden has had a successful market-based green certificate system for promoting renewable energy sources (RES) in place since 2003 and since 2012 this is a joint system with Norway. The joint system is a major step forward but it is important to review and improve targets and policies for the transportation sector.

Policymakers need to focus on finding a solution to replace the existing 10 nuclear reactors that will be taken out of operation gradually to meet the future electricity demand. The first reactors are expected to claose in around 2025. Permit application for building new reactors to replace existing ones have been filed, in line with the government decision to allow the replacement of existing reactors at existing sites.

In addition to finding measures to meet the EU CO2 reduction and RES targets, energy efficiency needs to be a top priority as targets will be difficult to achieve.