Eskilstuna has introduced energy and climate policies in most sectors, enterprise and planning. It thus offers an excellent study field.

Energy and climate policy is divided into two policy arenas: The arena of the municipality acting as a concern and the arena of the municipality acting as a stakeholder of energy initiatives towards the general public. The efficiency of the first is very high, due to an omnipresence of ‘sustainability thinking’. The total effect of the latter is, however, much larger, due to the size of the arena.

Principles of urban development are generally acknowledged as an important instrument for sustainability. Urban densification and urban connectivity to transport routes facilitated by public transport are the two main principles.

Policies of sustainability are of ‘second-order’ as compared to the economic driven changes of the urban system. A prime ‘first-order’ development is regional enlargement synonymous with increased transport. Second-order policies are modal split initiatives aiming at public rather than private transportation facilitated by infrastructure and infrastructure lead urban development.

The largest amount of energy consumption is in the sectors of transport, households and industry. Potentials reduction of CO2 emissions vary: Transportation depends on fossil fuels, difficult to cope with, whereas energy consumption in households is composed by a number of energy sources, including an increasing amount of renewables operated by large district heating plants as well as by individual house owners’ initiatives.

Thus, national measures are efficiently introduced in the conversion of district heating into renewables as well as conversion of the heating of single family dwellings using heat pumps and solar cells. Designing incentives to reduce fossil fuels in transport remains the key challenge.

At municipal level the consumption of electricity is of special concern. Only about 25% of electricity it is possible to produce by local combined power and district heating plants. Some small additional power may be provided locally by e.g. solar cells. But for the remaining part consumers are dependent upon national grids, i.e. power produced by energy sources that are beyond the control of the municipality.

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Published on 01/01/2015

Volume 2015, 2015
Licence: CC BY-NC-SA license

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