The Stockholm Region comprises 26 municipalities, including the City of Stockholm. A quarter of the land in the region is settlements and 14% is arable. The hinterland is undulating, with a great number of lakes, whilst the coast is jagged with a collection of islands. The region’s population was 1.9 million in 2005 and rose to 2.05 million by 2010. The region’s solid housing stock, high educational attainment, low unemployment, low poverty levels and strong public health perfor- mance means that it ranks high in terms of quality of life. The region generated 29% of Sweden’s Gross Value Added (GVA) in 2005. A main driver of the region’s eco- nomic growth is its capacity for innovation in a number of competitive clusters: information and communica- tions technology (ICT), biopharmaceuticals, financial and business services, transport logistics, and analytical instruments.
Public transport accounts for one in four journeys made in the region, with the majority of the remainder of journeys made using private, fossil fuelled cars. Due to the low-carbon nature of electricity and heat provision within the region, the emissions from transport account for half of its greenhouse gas emissions1. The region’s main airport, Stockholm-Arlanda, handled 16.1 million people and 152,400 tons of freight in 2009. The region’s seaports are used by more than 10 million passengers per year and enable travel within the region and destinations around the Baltic Sea.
The region has significantly lower emissions per resident than Sweden as a whole, and one of the low- est per capita emissions of the regions in the EUCO2 project.
The region faces a number of challenges in order to ensure the region has a secure, affordable supply of energy to further reduce CO2 emissions. These chal- lenges include the refurbishment of 30% of the housing stock, built as part of the Government’s push to build a million houses between 1960 and 1970, to make them more energy-efficient.
Climate change mitigation and the promotion of low-carbon technologies are objectives supported by policies and regulations at the national, regional and municipal level. For example, at the national level Sweden’s ‘energy tax’, implemented in 1991, is levied on electricity and fossil fuels and adjusted annually. Sweden’s national energy targets aim to use taxes to help reduce (non-EU-ETS traded) emissions by 40% and to produce 50% of Sweden’s energy from renewable sources by 2020.
The Regional Development Plan (RUFS 2010) sets out six key challenges that the region intends to tackle and overcome, including ‘reducing climate impact while promoting growth’. The RUFS 2010 sets targets for a 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions per capita by 2020, 40% by 2030 and 90% by 2050, compared to a 2005 baseline. The implementation of this devel- opment plan includes a regional Energy and Climate Action Programme. This programme focuses on biogas, district heating, waste and energy and energy-efficient urban planning. Goals include: tripling the region’s biogas production by 2020, making the district heat- ing completely fossil fuel free, improving the energy efficiency of the region’s housing stock from the 1960s and 1970s.
The region has also recently completed an in-depth energy study ‘Energy future of the Stockholm region 2010-2050’2. This study suggests that it is possible to reduce energy consumption by 40% and emissions by 85% by 2050. It also demonstrates that these reduc- tions will require a variety of actions, ranging from the development of intelligent and robust power grids to influencing the demand for travel.