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On the road to fossil-free public transport: The case of Swedish bus fleets
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Energy Technology, Energy and Climate Studies, ECS.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2896-8841
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Energy Technology, Energy and Climate Studies, ECS.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7123-1824
2016 (English)In: Energy Policy, ISSN 0301-4215, E-ISSN 1873-6777Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

Public transport is important for Sweden to acquire a fossil-fuel independent vehicle fleet by 2030. The aim of this paper is to assess the status of Swedish public bus fleets towards decarbonization, and explore factors affecting regional performance variations and fuel choices. Environmental performance indicators such as renewable fuel shares, CO2 emissions, and energy efficiency are analyzed nationally and regionally. Fuel preferences and best practices are investigated through a survey and interviews with experts working with strategic planning at Public Transport Authorities. Almost 60% of the bus transport volume ran on renewables in 2014 compared to 8% in 2007, but regional variations are significant, partly due to factors such as driving conditions, bus and fuel types, typical trip lengths, and climatic conditions. However, there is no strong correlation between population densities or bus transport volume and the share of renewables achieved. This places political will, strategic planning and policies to promote public transport as key factors affecting renewable fuel deployment. Environmental factors are a priority when choosing fuels, while barriers to renewable fuels are mainly economic and political. Meanwhile, despite the overall progress, achievements in energy efficiency improvement are falling short in comparison to emissions reduction and adoption of renewable fuels, thus requiring further attention.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Public transport, Bus, Emissions, Energy efficiency, Renewable fuels, Sweden
National Category
Energy Systems
Research subject
Energy Technology
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-185748DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2016.02.024OAI: diva2:923348
Fuel options for public bus fleets in Sweden - funded by f3 The Swedish Knowledge Centre on Renewable Transportation Fuels

QP 201604

Available from: 2016-04-26 Created: 2016-04-26 Last updated: 2016-10-11Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Is energy efficiency the forgotten key to successful energy policy?: Investigating the Swedish case
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Is energy efficiency the forgotten key to successful energy policy?: Investigating the Swedish case
2016 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Sweden aims to become one of the first fossil-free welfare countries in the world. In 2009, specific energy and climate policy targets were announced for 2020, which exceed the ambition of respective EU targets in some areas. The overarching objective of the thesis is to understand the role of energy efficiency in Swedish energy and climate policy frameworks, and identify the gaps that need to be addressed. In this context, energy efficiency is recognized as a challenge to address. Yet, there are reasons to believe that it is not being pursued with the same dedication as other energy and climate-related targets.

This hypothesis is tested using Mixed Methods research, with cases on different sectors of the Swedish economy, namely energy intensive industry and public bus transport, as well as comparisons with energy efficiency within the EU-28. With the help of abductive reasoning, the observations are inferred to an explanation, and common themes for Swedish energy efficiency policies emerge.

The evidence indicates that energy efficiency has received lower priority than other energy and climate policies. This is demonstrated by the conflict between energy efficiency, emission reduction and renewable energy targets, for example in the case of public transport. There is generally a mismatch between targets and the instruments in place. Thus more attention should be given to energy efficiency and its potential benefits for the Swedish energy system.

Opportunities for energy efficiency improvements are not being fully realized, but new policy initiatives could provide the necessary support to harness the potential. In-depth evaluation of new policy instruments should be integrated in the policy-making process, in order to provide a clear picture of costs versus benefits. An example is given with a Cost-Benefit Analysis for energy efficiency obligations targeting the Swedish energy intensive industry.

Simplicity and transparency in the introduction and monitoring of new instruments need to be sought for. Energy efficiency should be given first priority in relation to other energy and climate targets. The basis for future policies should be grounded now in order for energy efficiency to become the key for successful Swedish energy policy. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2016. 62 p.
TRITA-ECS Report, 16/01
energy efficiency, energy policy, Sweden, policy research, mixed-methods research, Cost-benefit analysis, energy intensive industries, public transport
National Category
Energy Systems
Research subject
Energy Technology
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-192291 (URN)978-91-7729-117-6 (ISBN)
External cooperation:
2016-10-06, B2, Brinellvägen 23, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)

QC 20160914

Available from: 2016-09-14 Created: 2016-09-08 Last updated: 2016-09-14Bibliographically approved

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