In the late 1970s, this oil pump was established in Rute on Gotland. The oil was of good quality, but the extraction was too small and 14 years later the operation ceased. The pump now stands as a piece of industrial heritage. However, in this new project to make Gotland energy self-sufficient , there are no plans to extract fossil fuels. Photo: © Roland Magnusson /

Gotland – an energy self-sustaining case study

The Swedish island of Gotland is aiming to become a fully self-sufficient sustainable energy region with its Got Heat project.

In 1990, the per capita emissions of Gotland county were almost 5 times as high as the rest of Sweden, and by 2045 that figure could rise to almost 13 times as high. Gotland is also the only county in Sweden where greenhouse gas emissions have increased during the period 1990–2015.

Gotland has been chosen to test and demonstrate that it is possible to make the sustainable transition. The Swedish Energy Agency recently published a “Roadmap to enable Gotland to become a pilot for a sustainable energy system”. During the development of the roadmap, dialogue was established with many actors and stakeholders that operate or are interested in working on Gotland, such as private individuals, entrepreneurs and non-profit and public organisations.
The Swedish Environmental Institute IVL is now setting up the Got Heat project together with industrial companies and electricity and heat producers on the Swedish island of Gotland. The aim is to create a sustainable energy system where all interactions and all forms of energy waste are avoided. The project must extend to both existing and future industries and energy producers.

One example that increases the efficiency of the energy system is when wind power is used to produce hydrogen gas, while the heat generated during the production process is also used. However, in order to utilise this heat at reasonable cost, users must be located quite close to the source. Planning for this requirement is also part of the project, as new industries that need process heat must be established in the right location. The project will also bring together stakeholders that are planning to build solar parks, industrial villages and computer halls with the district heating company, Gotlands Energy.

“The project will enable us to build up an overall picture of Gotland’s heating sector, today and in the future, to determine what is required to exploit the existing opportunities and synergies. We hope this knowledge will contribute to a resource-optimised energy transition on Gotland that can also be used on other islands and in other countries and regions,” commented Theo Nyberg, IVL’s project manager, in a press release.

IVL press release, 16 December 2023,



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