BioEnergy Småland – Expo Växjö (SE)


Starting point and idea

From water to fossil fuel free – the municipality of Växjö, a distinguished example of political commitment, successful cooperation and authentic dissemination for biomass implementation and promotion.

Växjö is located in the heart of the region of Kronoberg, in the southeast of Sweden. Växjö is renowned for its entrepreneurial and pioneering spirit and is expanding fast. The county of Kronoberg, part of the region of Götaland, is amongst the most afforested counties in Sweden, 72% of the surface is afforested, 25% of the landarea is covered by lakes and the remainder forms developed area. In the 1970s a major lake restoration program was launched to restore the drastically deteriorated lakes located in the municipality. The success of the lake restoration program resulted in further policies with regard to environmental and ecological problems. After training, round tables and discussions it was determined that climate issues were most important. The town of Växjö decided in 1996 to become fossil fuel free. Furthermore, emissions of carbon dioxide from fossil fuels shall be reduced by 50% per capita by the year 2010 compared with 1993. It was a strategic decision made by a unified council and is to be achieved by using energy more efficiently, enlarging the share in bioenergy and by converting to a fossil fuel free transport system.

Success through cooperation

The example of Växjö has shown that only acting together can have a positive impact. Växjö co-operates with several climate, nature and bioenergy related actors and participates in energy and climate related projects (regional, national and international). Växjö received grants from the government, which made it possible to financially support several local projects. “I am firmly of the opinion that the political leadership of a municipality should show the way…establish the long-term goals to be achieved. Thereafter, both individual citizens and local businesses should be encouraged to find the “hands-on” solutions to problems. We have welcomed virtually all steps in the right direction, whether they be big or small”, stated the then Mayor of Växjö, Carl-Olof Bengtsson. One example of best pratice cooperation is BioEnergy Småland – Expo Växjö, a Public Private Partnership to promote bioenergy coordinated by the Energy Agency for Southeast Sweden (Energikontor Sydost). One of the most important projects at present is the EU-financed CONCERTO project named SESAC, Sustainable Energy Systems in Advanced Cities aiming to increase the share of bioenergy and energy efficient buildings in the municipality.

How did/does it work?

The Fossil Fuel Free Växjö programme incorporates different types of activities, such as biomass-based district heating and power generation, smaller scale district heating, district cooling, biomass boilers for households, energy efficient street lightning, energy efficient building/construction, solar panels, cycle paths, environmental friendly cars, biogas production, large scale bio-DME production etc. The Fossil Fuel Free program is developed in co-operation amongst others between the city administration, the municipal energy company (VEAB), the municipal housing companies, local enterprises, Växjö University and the Energy Agency for Southeast Sweden. Since the beginning of the 1980s Växjö Energy Ltd. (VEAB) has worked towards replacing oil with bio-fuel and developing a combined heat and power plant in Växjö. Today VEAB is operating a combined heat and power plant (Sandviksverket II, 104 MW, entirely bio-fuel-powered) and several local biomass heating plants in surrounding communities.


Not only has the Fossil Fuel Free Växjö concept resulted in a reduction of some 20% of CO2, increased share in biomass usage but the city of Växjö 2 emissions and a significant received the ICLEI Award for Excellence in Atmospheric Protection in 2000 and the Sustainable Energy Europe Award 2007 during the European Sustainable Energy Week. Almost the whole city of Växjö is nowadays supplied with biomass district heating.


Above all the municipality is inviting technical visits to Växjö, a factor of success regarding dissemination. Seeing is believing and this is the best way to show the potential of bioenergy application in the region and to learn from best practice examples. It is possible to study all parts of the biomass chain in Växjö, from the forest to the end product, heat or electricity.


Energy Agency for Southeast Sweden
Framtidsvägen 10
AS-351 96 Växjö
+46 (0) 470 723320


  • Smallest CO2 emmission per capita in Europe
  • Almost 100 % heating supply from biomass
  • Determination to reduce fossil fuels
  • Strong involvement of stakeholders

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