An analysis of the relationship between the energy and buildings sectors in Sweden
Abstract: Climate change is one of the global challenges of our time. The energy sector is at the focus of the European efforts to combat climate change as it accounts for 80% of the total greenhouse gas emissions in the European Union. Buildings, on the other hand, represent 40% of the energy use and 33% of the total greenhouse gas emissions in the European Union, giving the buildings sector also a key role in the European climate strategy. There are, at the same time, strong interdependencies between the energy and buildings sectors due to the high amount of energy used by buildings and their rising importance as active components in the future energy systems. These interdependencies do not only influence the investment decisions in the energy and buildings sectors, but also the effectiveness of the European climate strategy. Cooperation between the energy and buildings sectors can create beneficial outcomes for the both sectors as well as the environment. It may also encourage innovation, improve the energy performance of buildings, and help achieve a higher penetration of renewable energy into the energy system.This licentiate thesis investigates the relationship between the energy and buildings sector at the inter-company level. Presenting the data collected from interviews and a web survey answered by the energy and buildings sectors in Sweden, this thesis examines the level of cooperation between these two sectors, discusses trust issues between stakeholders, presents the factors that negatively impact cooperation, and provides recommendations for the minimisation of these factors.The findings presented in this thesis indicate an insufficient level of cooperation between the energy and buildings sectors in Sweden, to which the following factors have been identified to contribute in a negative a way: district heating monopolies; energy efficiency in buildings; building regulations; self-generation of electricity; and energy use patterns. The emphasis on self-interest by stakeholders within the both sectors appears to create trust issues between stakeholders. Accordingly, shifting the focus from self-gains to mutual gains is deemed necessary to improve the cooperation between the energy and buildings sectors. This, however requires significant changes in current practices and business models. It has been identified that the development of smart energy systems that allow a closer interaction between the energy and buildings sectors through flexible energy supply and use would minimise many of the factors that negatively impact cooperation.
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