Gävleborg is home to world-leading innovative clean technology companies, which operate in the areas of biogas, bio energy, waste management, wind energy, energy efficiency and electric vehicles.
Since the UN Environmental conference in 1972, Sweden has led the world on environmental issues by developing world-leading clean technology solutions, and demonstrating that economic growth and concern for the environment can be combined. Gävleborg has the objective to become climate neutral by 2050, and the region already generates a significant proportion of its energy from renewable sources, including hydropower for electricity generation and forest-based biofuels for heating. Highly advanced waste management systems recycle up to 97 percent of domestic waste, and several innovative municipal and industrial closed-loop waste-energy systems have been established in Gävleborg.
Many of the clean technology actors in the region are small companies that deliver vital services and products to the rapidly growing domestic and international clean technology industries.
- Biofuels & bio energy
- Waste management
- Wind energy & wind turbines
- Energy efficiency
- Electric vehicles
Gävleborg has a growing number of biogas production facilities, and a steadily increasing fleet of biogas buses and vehicles. There is a facility in Gävle that produces biogas from sewage and food waste, and a plant in Söderhamn that generates biogas from food waste. Several farms in Gävleborg have established digestion and biogas production facilities of various sizes, from small-scale single farm units to larger multiple-farm facilities. Biogas is also produced from industrial waste in the region, such as from the Mackmyra Whiskey distillery and several abattoirs. In addition, biogas fuel is harvested from an old dump/landfill site where it is refined and combusted to generate electricity.
Biogas is primarily used as a vehicle fuel in the region, including 14 city buses and over 100 vehicles in Gävle (as of February 2014). The biogas production and refueling facilities have proved financially viable in Gävleborg, and there is large potential to further develop the regional biogas infrastructure and market. A planned Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminal at the port of Gävle, will help to develop the region’s infrastructure for biogas.
Biogas has the potential to partially replace fossil fuels in vehicle transport, and domestic and industrial energy generation, with significant environmental and financial benefits.
BiogasMitt is a cooperation between biogas companies, local government and the University of Gävle to actively promote the production of vehicle biogas. Biogasmitt was launched in 2009, and phase two of the initiative will further promote Gävleborg’s biogas production and market until 2015.
Ekogas – wastewater to vehicle fuel
Ekogas converts domestic wastewater into vehicle biogas at a wastewater treatment plant in Duvbacken, Gävle. The plant has a biogas production capacity of 1 million m3/year, which is equivalent to 2,500 liters of petrol/day. The biogas produced is used to supply a growing number of city buses, taxies, company vehicles and private cars. There is one biogas refueling station in Gävle, and there are plans to establish more in the future. Ekogas is partnership between municipally owned Gävle Energi and Swedish Biogas International.
Biofuels & bio energy
Bio energy projects in Gävleborg include forest products and waste to fuels, biomass power plants and state-of-the-art waste incineration boilers. Gävleborg has a long history of using timber and waste forest products as renewable and sustainable fuels to generate heat and electricity.
Gävleborg has an established forest biofuel industry that is made up of numerous large and small forestry companies, energy companies and road and rail transport providers. Biofuels produced in the region include firewood, wood chips, wood pellets, pine oil (made from pulp industry by-products) and peat. Forest ash recycling is actively encouraged in the region to promote forest health and sustainability. The industry is active throughout Gävleborg and meets an increasing demand for forest biofuels from domestic and industrial clients in Gävleborg and central Sweden.
BILOF (Bioenergi och Logistiknätverk i ekonomisk förening) is a regional network association based in Gävleborg that promotes the forest biofuel industry and its associated logistics providers. The association acts as an industry network and a centre for biofuel knowledge and competence, which arranges seminars, training and study visits.
Neova is Scandinavia’s leading bio energy company, which produces wood, pellets and peat fuel in Gävleborg. The company has its headquarters in Hudiksvall, and two pellets factories – in främlingshem near Gävle and south of Söderhamn. The company has around 40 permanent employees and over 40 seasonal workers each year. www.neova.se
Bomhus Energi operates a biomass power plant in Gävle that is primarily fuelled by waste forestry products from a pulp mill to generate 150 MW of district heating and 80 MW of electricity. The project is a Public Private Partnership between municipally owned Gävle Energi and the private company Korsnäs.
Bionär is a district heating company that operates 29 small-scale district heating networks in central Sweden. The networks use wood pellets and wood chips, which are renewable fuels, to annually deliver 130 GWh of heat to around 550 individual customers. www.bionar.se
Bollnäs Energi combusts approximately 70,000 tons/year of domestic and industrial waste in a 28 MW waste incineration boiler to annually generate 320 GWh of electricity and 125 GWh of district heating. The state-of-the-art boiler filters its emissions to ensure it surpasses strict Swedish emission standards.
Highly effective waste management companies operate in Gävleborg.
The municipal-owned waste management company, Gästrike återvinnare, sends only 3 percent of the waste it receives to landfill. Gästrike återvinnare plans, collects and manages domestic waste in southern Gävleborg. The company works with households to reduce the generation of domestic waste and thorough sorting procedures to ensure that a high proportion of material can be recycled.
Wind energy & associated supply chain
SEK 40 billion will be invested in the industry and over 1,400 wind turbines will be constructed in Gävleborg in the next 10 years. This investment represents significant business opportunities for landowners, wind turbine component suppliers, construction companies and maintenance providers. Invest in Gävleborg provides information about specific business opportunities and organizes study visits to regional projects and partners.
Wind energy projects are currently being carried out in all 10 Gävleborg municipalities. Companies establishing wind parks in Gävleborg include Eolus Vind, AriseWindpower, O2, Ownpower and Samkraft Vind, which is a cooperation between the various municipal owned energy companies in the region. WPD are in the process of developing off shore wind farms off the coast of Söderhamn (Storgrundet) and Gävle (Finngrundet), together with Samkraft Vind and other partners.
There is large potential to construct wind parks in forested areas. For example, Arise Windpower has recently developed a 203 MW 66 turbine wind park in Jädraås, Ockelbo municipality. The wind park is already one of Europe’s largest onshore wind farms, and the company has permission to built 116 wind turbines on the site in total. The site has a high altitude with excellent wind conditions.
Film: Jädraås - one of Europe's largest onshore wind farms:
Wind industry supply chain in Gävleborg
A 2009 assessment by Region Gävleborg highlighted that many companies in the region provide products and services to the wind industry, and many more have shown interest in becoming involved in wind by increasing their knowledge of the industry.
A list of companies in Gävleborg with experience of supporting the regional wind industry can be found on the Swedish Wind Industry Database (SWID) website.
Gävleborg’s steel industry and its supply chain manufactures important components for wind turbines, for example SKF Coupling Systems in Hofors. There are several other Gävleborg-based companies that supply mechanisms and instruments for the wind industry, such as In Situ Instrument AB, which is a world-leading manufacturer of wind measuring instruments that is based in Ockelbo.
Wind turbine operation and maintenance
Gävleborg has a diverse engineering and construction base made up largely of smaller companies, which can provide wind turbine operation and maintenance services.
SKF Coupling Systems
SKF Coupling Systems in Hofors is the prime supplier of oil-powered couplings to the major global wind turbine manufacturers. The company employs around 70 people at its production facility in Hofors and benefits from close cooperation with a range of large and small suppliers in the town.
In Situ Instrument AB
In Situ Instrument is a world-leading manufacturer of wind measuring instruments that is based in Ockelbo. The company employs around 15 people at its facilities in Ockelbo.
Triple Steelix is a cluster that works to strengthen the already successful steel industry in Gävleborg and Dalarna. The cluster builds networks, organises industry meetings and seminars, provides financial support and manages projects that aim to develop the industry. Triple Steelix also works with the entire steel industry and its supply chain to support the research and development of successful products and services.
Several companies and projects work to promote property and industrial energy efficiency in the region.
Greencon – Property energy efficiency
Greencon is a Gävle-based consultancy, which offers professional property energy efficiency services throughout Sweden and abroad. The company uses sophisticated techniques to identify opportunities to make significant energy and financial savings for its clients. Greencon recruits graduates directly from the University of Gävle, which provides competent and knowledgeable personnel to the industry through its specialist energy-related education programs.
University of Gävle – specialist energy and clean technology education programs
The University of Gävle offers specialist education programs related to energy and the environment, such as Energy Systems Engineering and Environmental Engineering, which supplies the region’s industry with competent and knowledgeable personnel. Its courses are tailored to business and industry needs, and often involve work placements together with local companies in the form of “cooperative education”. The university also conducts innovative research in the areas of energy efficiency and sustainability through its Built Environment (Bygg Miljö) research profile.
Gävleborg has aspirations to be a leading region for the use of electric vehicles. The project, Electric Car Region, has been initiated to promote electric vehicles in Gävleborg. In addition, the region has several companies that manufacture and install electric vehicle recharging stations.
Electric highway - first in the world
Region Gävleborg has implemented an innovative project to trial an electric road solution for trucks. The project involves overhead electric charging infrastructure on the E16 highway between Sandviken and Kungsgården/Storvik, and is the first of its kind in the world. The solution allows specially equipped trucks to transport goods with zero emissions along the stretch of highway.
Sandvik, SSAB, Scania and Siemens teamed up on the project together with local energy companies in Gävleborg and the University of Gävle. The next phase will involve extending the electric highway around 100 km from the Gävle harbor to Borlänge.
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