In a Nutshell

  • Sweden aims to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045, with a minimum emissions reduction of 85% based on the 1990 emissions levels in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) and Effort Sharing Regulation (ESR) sectors and the remaining 15% met through measures referred to as ‘supplementary’, including specific forms of carbon removal. 
  • Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS), known as Bio-CCS in Sweden, is one of several allowed supplementary measures, with the Swedish government allocating SEK 36 billion (EUR 3,3 billion) for Bio-CCS from 2026 to 2046. 
  • Sweden also supports carbon removal research and development primarily through the Industrial Leap initiative. 

Role for carbon removal in national climate policy

Through its 2017 target, Sweden has committed to achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045. The target requires a minimum emissions reduction of 85% compared to 1990 levels with the remaining 15% to be met through supplementary measures, including carbon dioxide removal (CDR). The 2017 target also includes the potential additional net uptake of greenhouse gases as a result of policy interventions in forest and land (LULUCF- Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry) and verified emission reductions outside Sweden’s borders purchased through Article 6 of the Paris Agreement. 

Support for R&D and Innovation

State-funded support for carbon removal research and development primarily occurs through the Industrial Leap initiative (Industriklivet), which has been allocated an additional SEK 600 million (EUR 55 million) per year from 2023 to 2025 and a mandate frame of SEK 5.2 billion (EUR 545 million) for 2024 to 2030. This includes support for carbon removal. A specific call in 2020 allocated SEK 100 million (EUR 9 million) per year until 2022 and SEK 50 million (EUR 4,5 million) per year until 2027 for research and innovation in negative emissions. Around thirty CDR projects have received support so far, many of which are feasibility studies for BECCS, alongside R&D and feasibility studies for other CDR methods such as DACCS (Direct Air Carbon Capture and Storage) that have also been awarded grants.

On the horizon

The reverse auction for BECCS is expected to commence six months after the EU Commission announces its decision on allowing Sweden to give state aid to national companies for verified geologically stored biogenic CO2.

 

Several of Swedens actors with facilities suitable for BECCS have indicated their interest in the auctioning scheme. Stockholm Exergi, with an 800,000 tonnes CO2/year removal capacity, has come the furthest with a research-facility (CO2 capture only). They have also been awarded an EU Innovation Fund grant of EUR 180 million. 

 

The Swedish Geological Survey has been tasked with identifying suitable sites for geological carbon dioxide storage for future storage in Sweden. Domestic capacity is unknown, but assessments show two areas of interest in the south-east Baltic Sea and next to south-west Skåne. Storage of CO2 from Swedish BECCS projects in the medium term are expected to be located in the CO2 storage fields being developed outside Norway and Denmark. In 2022, Sweden and Norway announced their intentions to sign an agreement, enabling the transportation of CO2 from Sweden to Norway.

Contributors

Targets

  1. Net zero target: 2045
  2. Net Negative Target:

    2045

  3. First interim target: 2030
  4. Type of interim target: Emissions reduction target
  5. GHGs covered: Carbon dioxide and other GHGs
  6. Separate target for emission reduction and removals: Yes
  7. Comprehensive CDR Target: no
  8. CDR Target for Conventional Removals: yes
  9. CDR Target for Novel Removals: yes
  10. Historical emissions: No
  11. Annual reporting mechanism: Annual reporting

CDR Plans

  1. Plans for carbon removal (CDR): Yes (nature-based and CCS-based removals)
  2. Planning to use external carbon credits: Yes
  3. Conditions on use of carbon credits: a

Public consultations and upcoming policies

  • The Ministry of Finance proposal to implement a tax reduction to the minimum level on electricity for negative emissions projects is open for consultation until October 2023. 
  • The Energy Agency is expected to launch the reverse auction for the Bio-CCS state support system in 2023. 
  • The proposed rules around how carbon removal will be accounted for in Sweden and how the state support will be affected by sale of carbon removal are still pending. 

Key stakeholders

  • The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, Naturvårdsverket, proposes policies for the government to implement and reports on emissions. 
  • The Swedish Energy Agency, Energimyndigheten, is responsible for the state support system for BECCS through reverse auctions. 
  • Industrial Leap initiative, Industriklivet is led by the Swedish Energy agency, supporting industrial decarbonization projects, including carbon removal.

Think Tanks and NGOs

  • Fossilfritt Sverige, an initiative started by the government, creating pathways for decarbonisation of different sectors

Collaborators

Dr. Kenneth Möllersten

Malin Pehrs

Dr. Mathias Fridahl