Nordregio contributes to Swedish green transition plans that unlock almost 3 billion SEK in EU funding
Last week the European Commission approved plans for three Swedish regions to restructure key industries and support a just green transition. The plans were co-drafted by Nordregio, and their approval unlocks SEK 2.9 billion in funding from the EU Just Transition Mechanism. “We have worked intensively on these plans and the Commission’s approval is welcome news,” explained Swedish Minister for Rural Affairs, Anna-Caren Sätherberg, in a press statement. “Sweden should be a world leader in the climate transition, and we will use new technology to create jobs throughout the country. The Just Transition Mechanism is an important piece of the puzzle in achieving this.” Nordregio supports with detailed analysis and research The process for this approval goes back to 2020 when Nordregio was hired by the EU Commission at the request of Tillväxtverket, the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth. Together with consulting firm Trinomics, Nordregio was tasked with supporting Norrbotten, Västerbotten and Gotland in the preparation of the so-called Territorial Just Transition Plans. For Nordregio’s researchers that involved detailed analysis of socio-economic impacts through stakeholder interviews, quantitative analyses, and in-depth research to identify the major social impacts of climate transitions in the regions. “Sweden has now designed a remarkable planning instrument to ensure that no one in these regions is left behind in the transition to a low carbon society” said Carlos Tapia, Nordregio Senior Research Fellow and leader of the project. He also noted that the drafting of the Territorial Just Transition Plans in Sweden was a learning process for all the stakeholders involved and was documented in an article published by Nordregio researchers. Recognition of Nordregio’s contribution When announcing the approval, the European Commission praised the project and said that the Swedish Territorial Just Transition Plans could be considered a benchmark for the rest of the EU.…
Can local ownership facilitate the transition towards greener energy systems? Highly topical research project maps out possibilities and challenges
The interest towards the supply of energy resources and, above all, a transition to a more sustainable energy production, is bigger than ever. Many private citizens, municipalities, cities, companies, and housing associations are asking themselves how they could secure their own energy production through the use of local forces. The project Local ownership in transitions towards sustainable energy systems explores how local engagement can facilitate the transition towards green energy production. – The goal of the project is to form a solid understanding of the complexity and potential of local ownership in the energy transition, says Senior Research Fellow Elin Slätmo at Nordregio. Slätmo says that the project aims to cover different energy-related projects from various locations around Sweden and explore how local ownership can be organised to facilitate the transition. Uppsala University and Nordregio are collaborating on the project, which is funded by the Swedish Energy Agency (Energimyndigheten). The project is highly topical and therefore it is important to study the opportunities and risks of local energy ownership. The research project has a reference group to ensure the relevance and timeliness of the project in Swedish society. The reference group consists of members who are knowledgeable and engaged in the sustainable energy transition. One member of the reference group is Anna Bäckstäde, who works as an Energy and Climate Advisor at Energicentrum Gotland. Bäckstäde supports both private citizens and organisations in cutting emissions and finding solutions towards a higher level of energy efficiency. Have you seen a shift in people’s behavior, are they more interested in green energy sources than before? – Absolutely! I just had a solar panel assembler at my home, and I learned to know that the number of installations has increased by over 100 percent. I also get requests about small scale wind power, and people…
Nordregio at GreenLab Summit 2022
Karen Refsgaard, Research Director at Nordregio, will participate at GreenLab Summit 2022 presenting on the topic “Rural Development and Just Green Transition”. GreenLab is a green and circular energy park, a technology enabler, and a national research facility. It is specialized in accelerating research and technology to scale, and its concept transforms the way green energy is produced, converted, stored, and applied. GreenLab tests theories in practice and looks for viable green solutions to the world’s biggest challenges. This year, the program of the summit focuses on how to create green growth, rural development, and a just green transition through industrial symbioses and energy innovation. At Nordregio, we have collaborated with GreenLab on several projects on bio-economy including the BioBaltic project. Nordregio has also had a joint event together with GreenLab and OECD at COP26 in Glasgow. Read more about the GreenLab Summit 2022 here.
UppTalk 29 March: Local communities need local energy production
There is a need to promote locally-owned energy projects in Sweden. The EU emphasizes this as a key to the sustainable energy transition. In this week’s UppTalk, Johanna Liljenfeldt (Uppsala University) and Elin Slätmo (Nordregio) will talk about how to increase successful local ownership of energy by sharing knowledge, and studying opportunities, risks and the values of local energy ownership for local communities across Sweden. The session in UppTalk is based on the project Local ownership in transitions towards sustainable energy systems (Lokalt ägandeskap i omställning till hållbara energisystem), funded by the Swedish Energy Agency (Energimyndigheten). UppTalk Weekly is a popular science seminar series by Uppsala University. It takes place on Zoom where you can take part in interesting conversations. UppTalk 29 March at 12-12.30 (CET), in Swedish. Join here: https://www.upptech.uu.se/kalendarium/evenemang/?eventId=69964 Visit project website: https://nordregioprojects.org/locally-owned-energy/
Nordregio welcomes new researchers!
Nordregio is welcoming two new researchers to our team, hoping to continue producing high-quality and relevant research further. Ana de Jesus, Senior Research Fellow. De Jesus is a social scientist with a multidisciplinary background working at the intersection of global studies and economics, focusing on innovation, circular economy and sustainability. Hilma Salonen is joining Nordregio as a Research Fellow. Salonen is a social scientist who specialises in sustainability transitions, remote locations and energy politics, with a PhD focusing on Russian regional development in the Arctic and how it links with renewable energy prospects. She aims to broaden her scope to include Finnish rural regions and explore making sustainability transitions more just by focusing on habits. Salonen’s hope for working at Nordregio is to work with more practical results and more engagement with the general public.
Nordregio Forum 2021 – some highlights!
On the 23rd and 24th of November, Nordregio Forum gathered people online and offline at the Nordic Culture Point in Helsinki in two sessions that discussed the future of work and the steps needed for a just green transition. Every November, Nordregio Forum manages to gather a line-up of inspiring and knowledgeable speakers who joined online from all corners of the Nordics or live in the studio at the Nordic Culture Point in Helsinki. The hybrid event was split into two intensive days that focused on the future of work, the issue of multilocality and challenges and solutions for a just green transition. The event’s topics also sparked interesting questions from the audience, both online and in the studio, that led to thought-provoking conversations. The first session, on 23 November, focused on the future of work in a world slowly emerging from a pandemic. We listened to inspiring examples from Maria Svensson Wiklander, co-founder of the Remote Lab, Sweden, from Lamia Kamal Chaoui, Director at the OECD Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities, about how remote working is reshaping regional development in the COVID-19 era, from Janne Antikainen & Sari Rannanpää, experts on regional development at MDI Consultancy, about the example of Finland and many more. Watch session 1: The regional impacts of remote work Session 2, on 24 November, focused on just and green regional development and dived deeper into the subject of the Nordics being perceived as global front-runners towards carbon neutrality and the impact observed at local and regional levels in this matter. Among many inspiring talks, we heard from Pekka Timonen, mayor of Lahti, the 2021 EU Green Capital, about the inspiring work they have been doing, from Johan Kuylenstierna, Chair of the Swedish Climate Policy Council, who spoke about the ways to design effective climate policy that yields regional impact and we…