Type: Country Review (Book)
Subject: Energy security
Oil and natural gas represented respectively 27% and 3% of Sweden’s total primary energy supply (TPES) in 2010. With coal representing 5% of TPES, Sweden has the lowest share of fossil fuels in the energy supply mix among IEA member countries. This is a significant difference from the mid‐1970s, when fossil fuels made up three‐quarters of Sweden’s energy supply, and is the result of a concerted effort to move away from the use of oil through the development of nuclear and renewable energy sources. Sweden’s energy policy seeks to further increase the share of renewable energy sources, including having them provide half of all energy, and 10% of all transport needs, by 2020. The share of fossil fuel is also to be further reduced, through plans to fully eliminate their use for heating purposes by 2020 and having a vehicle stock in Sweden that is “independent” of fossil fuels by 2030. Under this policy, demand for both oil and natural gas is anticipated to decline from current levels.
Oil demand in Sweden was nearly 330 thousand barrels per day (kb/d) in 2011. While fully dependent on imports to meet domestic oil demand, Sweden is a net exporter of refined oil products. Overall oil demand will likely decline in the coming decade, however demand for oil in the transport sector is expected to grow. At the same time, oil demand will be ever more concentrated on transport diesel, with demand for the fuel reaching over 110 kb/d by 2020 compared to just under 80 kb/d in 2011.
Concerning natural gas, consumption in Sweden totalled 1.3 billion cubic metres (bcm) in 2011, all of which was supplied via a single interconnector with Denmark. While natural gas plays only a minor role in Sweden’s TPES, its role in the energy supply of southern and western Sweden is much more substantial, accounting for around 20% of the area’s total energy use. Around 30 large consumers, including CHP plants, account for roughly 80% of total gas demand in the country, while households and other small consumers, numbering over 33 thousand, account for 2% of the total.
The Swedish Energy Agency (SEA), under the Ministry of Enterprise, Energy and Communications, has the main responsibility for both oil and natural gas emergency response policy. Sweden fulfils its oil stockholding requirements to both the IEA and the European Union by placing minimum stockholding obligations on industry and major consumers. During a supply disruption and as a contribution to an IEA collective action, Swedish authorities would reduce the minimum obligation, thereby granting operators permission to draw stocks below the minimum level.
In a natural gas crisis, supplies to protected customers (i.e. households) are safeguarded while the physical balance of the gas system would be maintained by restricting or discontinuing supplies to non‐protected customers in a crisis. System operators are obliged to have in place crisis plans for dealing with emergency situations, including a strategy for reducing supplies to customers.