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Between municipal and regional planning: The development of regional district heating systems in Stockholm from 1978 to 2010
Linköping University, The Tema Institute, Technology and Social Change. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. (TEVS)
2011 (English)In: Local Environment: the International Journal of Justice and Sustainability, ISSN 1354-9839, E-ISSN 1469-6711, Vol. 16, no 4, 319-337 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

District heating (DH) is an important part of the Swedish energy system and one of the most important climate measures at the municipal level. The Swedish planning system gives a large amount of power to municipalities, thus leaving the regional level weak. Despite this, the DH systems in Stockholm have developed into regional systems; how has this development occurred and what made it possible? Regional and municipal strategies concerning DH and energy from 1978 to 2010 have been studied through Regional plans and comprehensive plans. The conclusions show that the municipal DH systems have grown and become interconnected, thus fulfilling one of the most important regional strategies: to expand and interconnect the systems to be able to build combined heat and power plants. This is not entirely due to the regional strategies, however; the local importance of the system, economic reasons and supply security are other explanations. The study shows that regional importance generally has grown, and thus also the regional focus on DH. As environmental and climate issues have risen on the agenda, the importance of DH from the municipal perspective has become more evident, as well as a shift from supply orientation to more focus on energy efficiency.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 16, no 4, 319-337 p.
Keyword [en]
district heating; Sweden; Stockholm; regional planning; comprehensive plans; energy planning
National Category
Human Geography Energy Systems
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-72244DOI: 10.1080/13549839.2011.573472OAI: diva2:458772
Available from: 2011-11-23 Created: 2011-11-23 Last updated: 2013-02-14
In thesis
1. District Heating in a Liberalized Energy Market: A New Order?: Planning and Development in the Stockholm Region, 1978-2012
Open this publication in new window or tab >>District Heating in a Liberalized Energy Market: A New Order?: Planning and Development in the Stockholm Region, 1978-2012
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[sv]
Fjärrvärme i en liberaliserad energimarknad: en ny ordning? : Planering och utveckling i Stockholmsregionen, 1978-2012
Abstract [en]

This dissertation analyses how district heating systems in the Stockholm region have evolved and developed during the period 1978-2012. The thesis comprises four papers analyzing how district heating has been handled in municipal and regional planning. The examination explores how actors have worked together to create regional, interconnected district heating systems with economic, technological and environmental benefits. An investigation is undertaken on the effects of liberalization (and the subsequent commercialization of the district heating market) on the planning and cooperation of these systems. The impact on the present and future district heating market is also discussed.

The dissertation shows that energy companies cooperated on a regional level to create interconnected regional systems. Through openness, the capacity to make high-level decisions and municipal legitimacy, the regional strategies could be implemented at the municipal level. This can be considered a form of regional planning from below that developed through the initiative of the municipalities. The regional energy planning authority Stoseb could therefore succeed where other regional planning authorities in the Stockholm region have previous failed, to gather and unite the municipalities into a regional force.

This cooperation changed around the time of the liberalization of the energy market in 1996, which led to sales of several municipal energy companies and a subsequent concentration of ownership in the region. The organizational distance between energy companies and municipalities has increased and affected the communication between them. Regional cooperation could not be maintained and this has meant that opportunities and tools to implement energy strategies today are weaker than earlier. This is a case of ‘regional splintering’. The liberalization of the energy market thus had a major impact on the district heating sector.

Abstract [sv]

Denna sammanläggningsavhandling analyserar hur fjärrvärmesystemen iStockholmsregionen vuxit och förändrats, mellan 1978 och 2012. Avhandlingen består av fyra artiklar som analyserar hur fjärrvärme hanterats i kommunal och regional planering, hur aktörer samarbetat för att skapa regionala, sammankopplade fjärrvärmesystem med ekonomiska, tekniska och miljömässiga vinster som följd, hur elavregleringen, och den påföljande kommersialiseringen av fjärrvärmemarknaden, påverkade planering och samverkan kring dessa system, samt fjärrvärmemarknadens nuläge och framtid.

Avhandlingen visar att energibolagen samarbetat på regional nivå för att skapa sammanhängande regionala system, genom öppet samarbete och att man tack vare hög beslutskompetens kunnat implementera de regionala strategierna på kommunal nivå. Det var en form av regional planering underifrån, då initiativet kom från kommunerna och samarbetsorganet lyckades med vad regionala planorgan haft svårt att genomföra under flertalet decennier i Stockholmsregion, nämligen att samla och ena kommunerna kring strategier som implementerats.

Detta samarbete förändrades vid tiden runt liberaliseringen av energimarknaden, som genomfördes 1996, vilket ledde till försäljning av flertalet kommunala energibolag och en efterföljande koncentration av ägandeskapet i regionen. Det organisatoriska avståndet mellan energibolag och kommun har därmed blivit längre och påverkat kommunikationen dem emellan. Det regionala samarbetet kunde därmed inte fortsätta som tidigare och detta gör att möjligheterna och verktyg att implementera regionala energistrategier idag är svaga. Detta var ett fall av ”regional splintering”. Liberaliseringen av energimarknaden hade således stor påverkan påfjärrvärmesektorn.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2013. 104 p.
Linköping Studies in Arts and Science, ISSN 0282-9800 ; 576
District heating, energy, Stockholm region, municipal planning, regional planning, large technical systems, splintering urbanism, planning doctrines, Fjärrvärme, energi, Stockholmsregionen, kommunal planering, regional planering, Large Technical Systems, Splintering Urbanism, Planeringsdoktriner
National Category
Social Sciences
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-88708 (URN)978-91-7519-672-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2013-03-15, TEMCAS, Temahuset, Campus Valla, Linköpings universitet, LInköping, 13:15 (Swedish)
Available from: 2013-02-14 Created: 2013-02-14 Last updated: 2014-10-08Bibliographically approved

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