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On 01st February, as part of the study tour organized by the Swedish Bioenergy Association, along the sidelines of the Nordic Pellet Conference in Gothenburg, the delegates were offered an opportunity to visit Kungsbacka – a commune which is a half hour ride to the south of Gothenburg. The original destination was to Eksta Bostads AB. Founded in 1965, the community owned housing company, currently owns and manages approximately 3 000 rental properties including nursing homes, preschools as well as commercial establishments. The community has about 85 000 inhabitants and Eksta AB oversees providing heating and hot water.
The concept of Eksta AB is unique that it uses a combination of solar, biofuels and passive heating.
Energy saved is energy produced. The first pillar in sustainable energy is to reduce the energy consumption. In this regard, the investments in passive heating including insulation have led to the region having one of the lowest energy consumptions at 90 kWh/m2. Secondly, the company also operates solar projects with an annual generation of 3 GWh using 75 solar PV and 20 solar heating systems.
Finally, the company operates about 19 projects in bioenergy heating – mainly using wood pellets – generates about 35 GWh/year. Strict environmental standards mean a low emission result while research is ongoing to improve the current ash characteristics.
The feedstock situation with pellets in Europe over the past few months has been very turbulent because of rising prices and lower supply due to the war in Ukraine. The company uses about 7 500 tons per year and has been able to mitigate the impact of the fuel supply chains with long term contracts with local, well-established partners.
There is no one size fits all for the current energy transformation. On a community level, such a unique concept of passive heating complemented by energy generation from solar and biomass offers the best solution in terms of providing affordable, renewable, and clean power and heat for communities throughout the year.
Eksta Bostads AB – https://www.eksta.se
Swedish Bioenergy Association – https://www.svebio.se/en/