Meet our project partners - Lappland Municipal Association (Sweden)
29 June 2023
CommitClimate Project Partner - Lappland Municipal Association
Lappland Municipal Association is a collaboration between the four municipalities Gällivare, Kiruna, Jokkmokk and Pajala in Northern Sweden, situated just at and above the Polar Circle.
In the summer, we enjoy a couple of weeks of Midnight Sun and warm temperatures up to 30 °C. In winter, sun does not rise above the horizon for some weeks and temperatures can go down to -30 °C. The area of the four municipalities together is about the size of Latvia (ca 63 000 km²), but we have only about 50 000 inhabitants. Both facts together make long distances for both transporting people and goods. We have huge areas of protected nature, among others the Sarek national park which is called Europe’s Last Wilderness. Sami people’s reindeer herding is a living business. However, at the same time, our municipalities cover Europe’s biggest iron ore mine, big hydropower production and a strong forest industry.
In the next decade, Northern Sweden is expected to develop new big industrial infrastructure. In the center of this are new methods to use hydrogen instead of coal for steel production, which will require huge amounts of clean electricity. Beyond that, the production of batteries for electric cars, new data center and new mines will increase the need for electricity as will the electrification of the transport sector. Northern Sweden today has a surplus of (green) electricity, but forecasts tell us, that the electricity need from today of about 8 TWh can increase to about 100 TWh in 2050, if the planned industry investments happen as planned.
Collaboration is key for our municipalities to tackle climate change while securing affordable clean energy supply at the same time. Lappland Municipal Association offers free energy counselling to private households, SMEs and organisations in the four municipalities and a broad range of education in the energy sector in close cooperation with industry and businesses. However, the huge shifts in the industry sector and the enormous challenges of climate change demand a much more strategic and long-term planning approach for our municipalities when it comes to energy and sustainable living.
The CommitClimate project will help us to get a better understanding of how to strategically develop new resilient and sustainable energy systems. We are actively seeking innovative energy solutions which will help us to decarbonize our energy systems and manage new challenges as a higher need of cooling of buildings or electrification of the transport systems. To explain what CommitClimate is about we did a short video which you can find below (in Swedish).
We have established a local working group with members of all four municipalities and discuss future energy systems with both district heating and housing companies. Beyond that, the Association for Swedish Eco-municipalities (SEKOM) with 102 member municipalities is collaborating with us.
We also work to understand which data are available as input for the CommitClimate Simulator and we have compiled a comprehensive set of data already. Now we have started to discuss and test the first draft version of the CommitClimate Simulator. The key to success is to develop the simulator in collaboration with all CommitClimate partners, as well as citizens and stakeholders.