How should we design our future energy system to meet the demands of our climate targets while at the same time offering a secure supply of energy? Project timeframe 2021–2024.


Research director: Charlotte Paulie,, + 46 73 987 19 11
Project manager: Angelica Dahl,, + 46 72 251 79 53

Points of departure

the energy system affects the climate

The energy system – meaning the supply, transformation, distribution and use of energy – is a key element of society. The prosperity created in Sweden and in other parts of the world would not have been possible without secure access to energy. From a global perspective, energy largely originates from fossil sources such as oil, coal and gas, and according to the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the energy system is the largest emitter of greenhouse gases. If we want to remain prosperous, while also achieving our climate targets based on international agreements, we need to drastically change our energy system.

secure supply of energy important to society

The transport and industrial sectors are crucial for society while also requiring a great deal of energy. Combined, these sectors account for about 60 percent of the total energy use in Sweden. Other basic functions in society, such as buildings and various types of information infrastructure, also depend on secure access to energy. A prerequisite for converting the energy system is thus to ensure the supply of energy. The focus of our future energy system may also influence to what extent Sweden becomes dependent on other countries, thereby also our level of vulnerability from a geopolitical perspective.

Upcoming seminars

Completed seminars

May 5, 2022, Regulations and market conditions for investments in new nuclear power (in Swedish)

April 21, 2022, Clean energy? Sure, but not in my backyard!

March 18, 2022, Seminar with EU Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson

November 16, 2021, What is needed to integrate the European energy systems?

October 4, 2021, Scenarios for future electricity needs (in Swedish)

August 31, 2021, Wind power and the municipal veto (in Swedish)

June 21, 2021, Hydrogen’s role in the future energy system (in Swedish)

April 20, 2021, SNS visited by the commission of inquiry appointed to review relevant legislation for achieving the climate targets (in Swedish)


April 21, 2022, SNS Research Brief 84. Is NIMBYism Standing in the Way of the Clean Energy Transition?

November 16, 2022, SNS Research Brief 79. Policies for Integrated Energy Systems

Ongoing studies

Carbon leakage, clean technology and international competitiveness

“If we introduce tougher regulations or instruments compared to other countries or regions, emissions will simply move to somewhere else.” This argument regarding carbon leakage often comes up in discussions on energy and climate issues. However, which types of scientific evidence back this claim? And what does the other side of the coin look like? In a world focusing on sustainability, fossil-free energy and zero emissions in 20–25 years’ time, is it possible that tougher regulations and instruments aimed at limiting emissions actually turn into a competitive advantage? If this is combined with an offer of clean energy, how might this affect Swedish competitiveness? These questions will be discussed by the authors of this report.

Authors: Shon Ferguson, associate professor at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Rikard Forslid, professor at Stockholm University, Mark Sanctuary, researcher at the Swedish Environmental Research Institute.

“Energy shortage” in the big cities – a market perspective

Effective solutions for addressing local power shortages mean that there must be financial incentives for flexible local production and consumption, rather than solely relying on expanding the electrical grids. This report will utilize socio-economic analysis to study how different market solutions can contribute to solving local power shortages in a cost-effective manner, given existing limitations in the electrical grid.

Authors: Thomas Tangerås and Pär Holmberg, both associate professors of economics, take part in the research program Sustainable Energy Transition at the Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN).

Electricity network regulation in the Nordic countries

Swedish electricity network charges have increased sharply in Sweden over the past decade. Why is that? What is the trend in other Nordic countries? The electricity system in Sweden has been relatively static for several decades before the turn of the century. This is in sharp contrast with the expectations that lie ahead, with increased electrification in many sectors in order to reduce climate impact. It will be important to review the regulatory model and how well it creates incentives for investments in the electricity networks. Yet, it is not only investment incentives that are important, regulation must be effective with regards to several criteria. Not least, it must ensure a secure electricity supply, with few and short interruptions, and affordable prices for consumers.

Author: Magnus Söderberg, Professor of Business Administration at the Academy of Business, Innovation and Sustainability, Halmstad University and Erik Lundin, researcher in the Sustainable Energy Change program at the Institute for Business Research.

Funding and reference group

E.ON, Ellevio, Fortum, Göteborg Energi, Holmen, Installatörsföretagen, Kraftringen, Lantmännen, Piteå Municipality, SCA, Scania, Skandia, SSAB, Stockholm Exergi, Svenska Kraftnät, Swedish Energy Agency, Swedish Energy Markets Inspectorate, Swedish Ministry of Finance, Swedish Ministry of Infrastructure, Swedish Ministry of the Environment, Swedish Property Federation, Swedish Society for Nature Conservation, Swedish Transport Administration, Uniper, Vattenfall.