About this good practice
Since December 2019, the entire business of the company is fossil-free. All the district heating, district cooling and electricity are produced from renewable biofuel from forests. That is, branches, tops and other residuals from the nearby forests that would otherwise have been wasted.
Fossil-free operations do not only include fossil-free production in all production facilities. It includes the entire own business in the form of, for example, its own vehicle fleet being fossil fuel-free, which applies to everything from service cars and loaders all the way down to the leaf blower.
Already in 2018, the share of fossil fuel in Växjö Energi's production was as low as 0.4 %, excluding peat. In 2019, the final adjustments were made to enable 100 percent fossil fuel-free production and operations.
Växjö municipality's overall goal is to become a fossil fuel-free municipality by 2030. A fossil fuel-free district heating and cooling is crucial for that goal to be achieved. In addition, the production may be developed further in the future. They are applying for co-financing from an EU funding scheme for a carbon capture and storage facility.
The availability of local bioenergy from forest residuals is a prerequisite for being 100 % fossil-free. CAPEX is higher when also the peak and reserve production of district heating has to be fossil-free.
Evidence of success
- The oil to be used to start the boilers have been converted to bio-oil.
- The two reserve facilities for heat production, located to various parts of the grid in the city, was rebuilt and now runs on bio-oil.
- The company´s emergency diesel generator has been converted to HVO, ie renewable diesel.
- The last partially fossil fuel-powered vehicles have been out-phased. Thus, all vehicles are powered by HVO, biogas or electricity.
- The loaders have all been converted to HVO.
Potential for learning or transfer
The use of local biomass as feed-stock is far beyond a possible option for all district heating providing companies. However the learning from this practise is the value of deciding for a goal and then decide targeted to reach the goal, it is about the mind-set, whatever the technical solution and the feed-stock look like.