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Energy flows and efficiencies as indicators of regional sustainability – A case study of Jämtland, Sweden
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Ecotechnology and Suistainable Building Engineering.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7037-5348
Aalborg University, København, Denmark.
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Ecotechnology and Suistainable Building Engineering.
2019 (English)In: Ecological Indicators, ISSN 1470-160X, E-ISSN 1872-7034, Vol. 100, no May 2019, p. 74-98Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

An analysis of energy and material flows has been elaborated for the Swedish region Jämtland with the aim of monitoring and comparing regional sustainability by following the work energy flow method developed in a study of the Danish island of Samsø (Nielsen & Jørgensen, 2011). In the region of Jämtland about 46,000 TJ of energy flows into society, of which 88% is renewable. From this an amount corresponding to 30,800 TJ is exported as electricity from the region, while another 410 TJ is exported as waste to be incinerated. The remaining part, about 15,200 TJ (63% renewable), drives Jämtland. From an energy flow perspective, the most important production from the region, apart from electricity production, is biomass from the forest: 49,000 TJ estimated as energy content in the biomass harvested. Another 55,000 TJ is added to the standing biomass every year as forest growth (only productive forest land area has been calculated). Some suggested indices of sustainability have been calculated and Jämtland shows high values. However, it will be a challenge to transform the quite large transport sector of Jämtland, and therefore the potential to become fully sustainable (ref to indexes used for the Samsø study) might not be quite as high. In order to reduce the use of non-renewable energy, a major conversion of the transport fleet is needed, and this should be given high priority. The private sector is the largest single user of non-renewable energy (2,200 TJ). One successful transition is the Swedish diesel mix with 19% FAME/HVO derived from vegetable or animal sources and regarded as renewable. The consumption of FAME/HVO is predicted to increase significantly, increasing the importance of the forest as a source. A sustainability analysis based at work energy flows shows for both Samsø and Jämtland that large natural resources producing a high work energy output combined with low work energy use due to low population density, gives high sustainability indicators. This indicates that regions with high population density and the absence of natural resources (high import), as in most regions in the world, will show low sustainability indicators. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 100, no May 2019, p. 74-98
Keywords [en]
Ecosystems energy, Energy flows, Infrastructure, Regional sustainability, Societal energy, Sustainability indicators
National Category
Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-34731DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2018.08.065ISI: 000470961400009Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85053314419OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-34731DiVA, id: diva2:1256231
Available from: 2018-10-16 Created: 2018-10-16 Last updated: 2019-07-08Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. An evaluation of regional sustainability by analysing energy and carbon flows – A study of Jämtland, Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>An evaluation of regional sustainability by analysing energy and carbon flows – A study of Jämtland, Sweden
2018 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Models showing the anthropogenic and natural flows of two sustainability indicators; carbon based GHG and energy (as work energy) have been made for the Swedish region Jämtland. The methodology used was inspired by the study sustainability analysis conducted on the small Danish island Samsø using the above two indicators. The aim was to upscale the methodology used for Samsø and make necessary adaptations for Jämtland in order to be able to evaluate sustainability in terms of global warming. We also wanted to study the linkages between research, education and regional sustainability initiatives. Working at a regional level has advantages compared to working at a national or global level, as socio-ecological processes can be covered more extensively to reach a deeper understanding of practical aspects. In parallel to this we have also been participating in local and regional sustainability activities to increase our understanding of practical approaches and human behaviour.

Studies of the energy flows in Jämtland show that 46,000 TJ (88% renewable) flows into the region and about 31,000 TJ is exported. The remaining 15,000 TJ (63% renewable) drives ‘the machine Jämtland’. Added to this is about 4000TJ as matter. The total global warming potential (GWP20) impact of Jämtland (as carbon dioxide equivalents, CO 2eq ) indicating influence on the global mean temperature as radiative forcing) is an annual uptake of 2.4 Mton. The total regional emissions, as CO 2eq, from anthropogenic activities, including consumption, are 1500 kton. The region has large emissions of methane, 80kton (6700 kton CO 2eq ), mainly from mires, lakes and animals but also large uptakes of CO2 from assimilation in woody biomass.

Jämtland can be regarded as relatively sustainable from several perspectives, but taking the large forests and a population of only 127,000 inhabitants into consideration, the total uptake of CO 2eq is not very large and of the 15,000 TJ driving Jämtland, 37% comes from non-renewable sources. From a national (and global) perspective Jämtland needs to perform better, in view of its considerable reserves of natural resources. How to increase long-term sustainability in the region is a complex issue that requires penetration from many perspectives. Modelling results presented here needs to be interpreted in a broader sustainability context, together with regional stakeholders, to serve as a base for future knowledge development and sustainability activities.

Abstract [sv]

Två modeller har utvecklats för att studera antropogena och naturliga flöden av energi (exergi) och kolbaserade växthusgasflöden i Jämtland. Metodiken har inspirerats av en metodik för att göra hållbarhetsanalyser som genomförts för den lilla danska ön Samsø utifrån dessa båda indikatorer. Att arbeta på regional nivå har fördelar gentemot att arbeta på en nationell eller global nivå eftersom man har större möjligheter att gå ned på djupet både gällande samhälleliga processer och ekologiska processer. Kopplingen mellan siffror och faktiska skeenden blir tydligare. Parallellt med arbetet med de regionala modellerna har vi också deltagit i lokalt och regionalt arbete för att förståelsen omkring praktiska angreppssätt och mänskligt beteende.

Studien av energiflöden i Jämtland visar att 46.000 TJ (varav 88% förnyelsebart) flödar in i regionen och 31.000 TJ exporteras ut och att resterande 15.000 TJ (varav 63% förnyelsebart) driver maskineriet Jämtland. Till detta kommer omkring 4000 TJ i form av material. Den totala GWP20-påverkan från Jämtland är ’kylande’ och motsvarar ett upptag av koldioxid-ekvivalenter årligen på 2.4 Mton, vilket ungefär motsvarar emissionen från225.000 genomsnittssvenskar. De totala antropogena emissionerna av CO 2eq , inklusive konsumtion, är 1500 kton. Regionen uppvisar betydande emissioner av metan, 80 kton (motsvarande 6700 kton CO 2eq ) från sjöar, myrar och våtmarker samt djur.

Jämtland kan ur flera perspektiv betraktas som relativt hållbart, men tar man de enorma skogsarealerna och den i ett internationellt perspektiv blygsamma befolkningen på 127 000 personer i beaktande är hållbarheten mindre övertygande. Vidare är 37% av den energi som driver Jämtland faktiskt icke-förnyelsebar. Sett ur ett globalt perspektiv och med hänvisning till Jämtlands enorma naturresurser behöver Jämtland prestera bättre. Hur man skall kunna öka den långsiktiga hållbarheten är en komplex fråga som kräver belysning från flera olika perspektiv. Resultat som de som presenteras här måste tolkas tillsammans med regionala intressenter i ett bredare hållbarhetssammanhang för att kunna utarbeta lämpliga implementeringsstrategier.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sundsvall: Mid Sweden University, 2018. p. 39
Series
Mid Sweden University licentiate thesis, ISSN 1652-8948 ; 145
Keywords
Regional sustainability, Energy flows, Exergy, Carbon GHG fluxes, Sustainability indicators, carbon dioxide emissions, methane emissions, nature emissions
National Category
Other Environmental Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-34896 (URN)978-91-88527-74-5 (ISBN)
Presentation
2018-12-14, G3213, Mittuniversitetet, Akademigatan 1, 831 25 ÖSTERSUND, Östersund, 10:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Interreg Sweden-Norway, SMICE
Note

Vid tidpunkten för framläggningen av avhandlingen var följande delarbete opublicerat: delarbete 4 (manuskript).

At the time of the defence the following paper was unpublished: paper 4 (manuscript).

Available from: 2018-11-16 Created: 2018-11-15 Last updated: 2018-11-22Bibliographically approved

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Skytt, TorbjörnFröling, Morgan

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