A regional method for increased resource-efficiency in industrial energy systems

Panel: 1. Programmes to promote industrial energy efficiency

This is a peer-reviewed paper.

Sandra Backlund, Naturvårdsverket, Sweden
Patrik Thollander, Linköping University
Svetlana Paramonova, Linköping University
Patrik Rohdin, Linköping University
Magnus Karlsson, Linköping University


The impact of global climate change as a result of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), primarily from the use of fossil fuels, is demanding actions from all sectors of society. The industry sector is one of the world’s largest energy using sectors and GHG emitters. Improved energy efficiency in industry is one of the foremost means of improving energy efficiency and reducing GHG emissions (IPCC 2007). Research shows that despite large untapped potentials for improved energy efficiency in industry, cost-efficient energy efficiency measures are not always implemented, explained by the existence of barriers to energy efficiency, e.g. information imperfections and asymmetries. Moreover, research shows that a major energy efficiency potential lies in the energy system and the way it is governed. For regional governments, the industrial energy use is difficult to affect as they only have indirect power to influence the decisions in those organizations. This underlies the importance of developing methods on how a region can support and effectively contribute to energy efficiency improvements in the local industry. So far, methods are scarce related to regional governance of industrial energy systems.

The aim of this paper is to present a structured methodology for improved regional resource efficiency in the local industry from a regional perspective.

The paper begins with an introduction with aim and research questions, and continues with a presentation of energy use and the composition of Swedish industry, then reviews the scientific literature related to regional governance, planning, policies and incentives. Then, a method is presented, together with how the method was applied in a Swedish region – the Gävleborg county. Finally, means to improve method is proposed together with a discussion on its applicability, major advantages as well as its limitations.


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