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Strengthening the Municipal Energy Planning – Integration into Comprehensive Planning, Performance of Impact Assessment and Inclusion of National Environmental Objectives
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Sustainability Assessment and Management.
2018 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The global climate is changing rapidly, which pronounces the need for transforming the energy system. The Swedish municipalities have been identified as key actors in Sweden’s decarbonisation due to their far-reaching responsibilities, which encompass energy planning. The municipalities are required to have a Municipal Energy Plan (MEP) regarding the provision of energy, but have increasingly shown climate awareness. Further, the municipalities are responsible also for the spatial planning, and increased climate efforts will largely be dependent on how this planning is conducted. However, the energy system also affects various other environmental impacts. Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) can aid to take these impacts and associated National Environmental Quality Objectives (NEQOs) into account, which is necessary in order to avoid that other negative environmental impacts occur due to a decarbonisation and that synergies between NEQOs instead could be utilised. Thus, this thesis aims to examine current municipal energy planning practice and the integration of energy and climate targets into comprehensive planning (Paper I), as well as to explore the performance of SEA and the consideration of NEQOs in municipal energy planning (Paper II). Further, suggestions for strengthening the practice is developed (Paper I and II).To achieve the aims, a document analysis, statistical analyses, thematic analyses and an interview study has been employed. This thesis shows that the Act on Municipal Energy Planning is not followed and that the municipalities proactively focuses on climate change mitigation instead. Moreover, a link between MEPs and Comprehensive Plans is seen regarding energy and climate-related targets, and a continuous energy planning can thus be one way of achieving a spatial planning in line with the climate objectives. SEA is seldom performed despite legal requirements, due to a deficient screening practice. However, when performed, SEA can increase the consideration of NEQOs, particularly those in which negative environmental impacts of climate efforts can occur. The consideration of NEQOs could thus help enhance synergies between a decarbonisation and other NEQOs, which could mobilise support for the MEP and aid its implementation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2018. , p. 31
Series
TRITA-ABE-DLT ; 1839
Keywords [en]
municipal energy planning, local climate policies, climate change, comprehensive planning, Strategic Environmental Assessment, National Environmental Quality Objectives
National Category
Energy Systems Environmental Management
Research subject
Land and Water Resources Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-239185ISBN: 978-91-7873-048-3 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-239185DiVA, id: diva2:1264241
Presentation
2018-12-12, D3, Lindstedtsvägen 5, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Swedish Energy Agency
Note

QC 20181120

Available from: 2018-11-20 Created: 2018-11-19 Last updated: 2018-11-20Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Strategic municipal energy planning in Sweden – Examining current energy planning practice and its influence on comprehensive planning
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Strategic municipal energy planning in Sweden – Examining current energy planning practice and its influence on comprehensive planning
2018 (English)In: Energy Policy, ISSN 0301-4215, E-ISSN 1873-6777, Vol. 113, p. 688-700Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The Swedish municipalities, which possess great autonomy for land use planning, are required to have Energy Plans (EPs) concerning the distribution and supply of energy. However, most municipalities no longer have operational control over these aspects of the energy system. Instead, many municipalities have initiated proactive, strategic energy and climate planning. Prior to a potential legislative revision, the current energy planning practice is examined with regards to the propagation of these different energy planning approaches and the influence of municipal energy planning on comprehensive planning. This study shows that 61% of Sweden's 290 municipalities adopted an EP during 2004–2015. Most of these EPs had a broad scope, and it is shown that during the studied time frame the focus of the municipal energy planning gradually shifted towards mitigating climate change. The municipalities’ population size also has a significant effect on the propagation and currentness of energy planning. Furthermore, municipal energy and climate planning increases the potential for ensuring the consideration of energy and climate targets and strategies in comprehensive planning, which can facilitate a more sustainability-led municipal planning in line with the Swedish energy and climate objectives, and this relation is thus urged to be strengthened.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2018
Keywords
Comprehensive planning, Energy and Climate Strategies, Energy Plans, Local governments, Municipal energy planning
National Category
Energy Systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-220368 (URN)10.1016/j.enpol.2017.11.006 (DOI)000423009500064 ()2-s2.0-85037372969 (Scopus ID)
Funder
Swedish Energy Agency, 41347-1
Note

QC 20171219

Available from: 2017-12-19 Created: 2017-12-19 Last updated: 2018-11-20Bibliographically approved
2. Exploring the application of Impact Assessment and its function of addressing interactions between national environmental objectives in Swedish energy and climate planning
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Exploring the application of Impact Assessment and its function of addressing interactions between national environmental objectives in Swedish energy and climate planning
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Besides the dire need to tackle climate change, a multitude of anthropogenic environmental impacts and associated environmental objectives also need to be addressed in planning. Impact Assessment (IA) tools such as Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) can potentially aid such consideration in planning, and thus the IA practice and its contribution to considering national environmental objectives are explored within municipal and regional energy and climate planning in Sweden. The results show that, in consequence of low application and quality of screening, the performance of IA is generally lacking within Swedish energy and climate planning. Furthermore, the policy documents for which an IA has been conducted have a significantly higher inclusion of the Swedish National Environmental Quality Objectives, thereby indicating that the use of IA can facilitate the consideration of national environmental objectives. Consequently, interactions among national objectives can be illuminated and synergies utilised, a function that otherwise often is lacking.

Keywords
Strategic Environmental Assessment, SEA, energy planning, National Environmental Quality Objectives, Management by Objectives, goal conflicts
National Category
Environmental Management Energy Systems
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-239184 (URN)
Funder
Swedish Energy Agency
Note

QC 20181120

Available from: 2018-11-19 Created: 2018-11-19 Last updated: 2018-11-20Bibliographically approved

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