Gotland is a showcase for a number of interesting and innovative renewable energy initiatives. This is not really surprising. Gotland has Sweden’s highest sunshine figures, enjoys good access to biofuels and is one of the best European locations for wind power. These natural assets, the entrepreneurship of the islanders and the municipality’s focus on strategic environmental planning have led to the realisation of many ideas for increasing the sustainability of Gotland’s local energy supply. As energy seem to be the main focus for our international visitors, it's the theme for this enter page, other focus areas are also water, sustainable choices and habits, nature and biodiversity.
The wind resource has for many years been the main option for local power production. Regional plans point out areas where the establishment of wind parks will meet as little conflicts as possible, with respect to the surrounding society, areas of unspoiled nature, biodiversity and cultural heritages. But while wind power has developed on Gotland, the capacity of the existing sea cables has become a restraining factor. As the plans for a new sea cable was abruptly interrupted in May 2017, there was a sudden need of re-thinking present plans for energy transition. Then the Swedish Government provided help. The National Energy Agency is yet conducting a feasibility study on Gotland as a pilot case for a smart and renewable energy system, where experiences from other national projects, regarding smart grids and demand flexibility are to be reflected.
In the early 1990's, the municipality started the strategic push to turn the island into a sustainable society by 2025. Sustainability here covers all aspects of the environment – energy, resources, agriculture, waste, radiation et cetera, including climate gas neutrality.
Since 1995, the municipality has cut CO2 emissions from fossil fuels in its own operations by over 60 per cent.
On the island as a whole, fuel production and local energy supply from renewable resources are both increasing. Local wind power meets 45–50 per cent of the island’s annual electricity demand. Biofuels from local forestry supply the domestic heating. Last but not least, the transports; 2010 brought the island its first biogas filling station for cars and heavier vehicles as the city buses. By the end of 2016, the number of biogas filling stations was four, spread over the island. In 2017 the first public filling station for HVO was opened. There are also a number of charging stations for electric vehicles all over the island.
By transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources, the regional objective is 45 per cent reduction, of climate gas emissions from energy use on Gotland by 2020, from 1990 – except industrial emissions from the ETS sector.
Region Gotland´s current Environment and Energy programs are only available in Swedish. The latest energy plan, Energi 2020, was adopted by the Regional Council in June 2014.