In the long term, Sweden's energy supply must be bases on an ecologically sustainable production of electricity. The supply of electricity from renewable energy sources must be increased.
Ethanol is used for powering vehicles in the transport sector. Today, ethanol is used as a fuel primarily for urban buses, reducing the emission of particles, sulphur and NOx.
The Agency is financing a programme of research and development for the production of ethanol from raw materials. The programme comprises fundamental research aspects, technical development and pilot-scale production.
The objective is to provide technical, scientific and economic support for the production of ethanol on a larger scale and at lower cost. Estimates indicate that the cost of cellulose-based ethanol in future could be around SEK 4.00 per litre.
The Swedish Energy Agency supports research and development of new knowledge associated with the supply, conversion, distribution and use of energy. Grants are also given for pilot and demonstration installations for testing new technology.
The Agency finances five competence centres and about 40 research and development programmes in various scientific disciplines. This work is carried out in close conjunction with the institutes of technology and with the industry, as it is an objective that the results of research should be put to practical and commercial use.
The Agency provides support for both fundamental and applied research in areas such as fuel production from forestry and agriculture, as well as the production, distribution and use of electricity and heat.
A total of SEK 30 million per year is being invested in the ethanol programme, running from 1998 until 2004, with the objective of providing technical, scientific and economic support for the production and economic support for the production of ethanol on a larger scale and at lower cost.