Sweden the top nation in the European Union regarding the share of energy coming from renewable sources, according to a recent study by the Swedish Energy Agency. Hydropower and forrest-based bioenergy are two contributing factors. 43,3% of the energy comes from renewable, up from 33,9% in 1990. 52% of the power supply is generated by renewable sources. The largest share is reached in the power sector, followed by the paper & pulp industries and the district heating sector. According to the study, the largest room for improvements regards the transport sector, which only represents 1% of the renewable energy use in Sweden.
Other countries in Scandinavia, while non-members of the European Union, generate an ever higher share of their energy from renewable sources. Iceland is the foremost example, with 73% of total primary energy supply and 100% of power production comes from renewable sources. Further on, an impressive 98% of Norwegian power supply comes from hydropower.
There are certainly many opportunities to increase the share of renewable energy in Sweden even further. Many medium-sized to large initiatives are under way. Large wind farms are being developed throughout the country for power production, and many medium-scale biogas plants are planned in southern and central Sweden. The biogas sector is already extensive in southern Sweden and in the Stockholm area. Further it is fairly within reach to increase the hydro power output by increasing and optimizing the generation the rivers already being used, and to develop low-temperature geothermal energy systems for heating. And as capital costs decrease, solar power and wave power will also be feasible options, although it would take many years for these types of energy to constitute an important part of the Swedish energy sector.