In her welcome address, the Swedish Minister for Information Technology and Energy, Anna-Karin Hatt described the historical development of Swedish bioenergy saying that a century ago, bioenergy was essential for Sweden’s industrialisation.
“Today bioenergy is still a vital part of our energy mix. One third of our energy is derived from biomass fuels. Alongside hydropower it is our most important domestic sources of energy,” Hatt said to the international audience, adding that bioenergy and biofuels were not remnants of the past but vital to the future.
The minister remarked that the mood amongst her European colleagues and counterparts had been gloomy being preoccupied with issues concerning competitiveness and security of supply.
“The financial crisis meant that too many were pushing climate change too far down the agenda,” she said adding that this mood has now changed.“There is a growing realisation that the goals of sustainable energy supply and secure energy supply do not have to be contradictory or opposed to each other. Instead the expansion of renewable energy is a way to strengthen energy supply and reduce emissions,” she explained.
She pointed out that having forest and farmland is not unique to Sweden and suggested that some of the technologies and systems developed and used in the country could be viable in other regions. After the session and official opening of the tradeshow, minister Hatt got her own firsthand opportunity to see examples of such technologies and systems.