A purified biogas station has been installed on the Island, taking a step further in becoming a Climate Neutral Island!
Öland (Sweden) is an island of 1,348 m², separated from the mainland by the Kalmar Strait and connected to it by the 6-kilometre Öland Bridge. The Island is inhabited, but welcomes 250000 tourists each year.
The Southeast Sweden Energy Agency, jointly owned by an association of regions and counties, participates in the implementation of a €2,5M project aiming at the development of stations of purified biogas for vehicle use. This project is developed as a private-public partnership in cooperation with the municipality of Mörbylånga, located at the south on the Isle of Öland.
The municipality has set, as a target for 2025, to become climate neutral and to rely only on sustainable energy. In this regard, transport is a big challenge since they are still dependent upon fossil fuel. Their journey to reach those objectives started in 2015: A Regional procurement for public transport was made, requesting a 100% renewable fuel, whereof the major part would be biogas. Through this project, the municipality was able to operate a switch to renewable fuels for all municipal vehicles and machinery. Before that, they were already relying on electric vehicles for many of the municipality’s cars. Öland’s first biogas gas station opened to the public in February 2018, located in the industrial area in southern Mörbylånga urban area.
Municipalities where given the choice of providing bio compressed natural gas (CNG) or biodiesel (HVO). The choice of bio CNG allows bus drivers to start their journey from the Island instead of having to go the mainland to fill the tank. Therefore, bus drivers could live on the island. Taking those advantages into account, the local bus company set up a bus filling station, and the municipality provided funding in order to make it a public filling station. The objective was to make this project beneficial both for municipal and public vehicles.
The development of a private public partnership, investing Taxpayer’s money into a filling station, received a political consensus that made this experience possible. The project promoted sustainability both for the municipality and for the Island. It represents a successful opportunity to switch to a 100% sustainable alternative to fossil fuels. It was also proven to be 10% less expensive to use than traditional fuel. Following on the development of the Project, the municipality was able to switch many of its cars into biogas cars. The development of the project also positively impact touristic activities, that are an important feature for Öland as it hosts more than 2 million visitors per year. This increases the availability of sustainable service for tourists. The initiative was replicated since, with two more Bio – CNG stations developed on the Island and running since 2020.
The next challenge is to increase the number of private biogas cars: if this development is made foreseeable, this would allow for the development of a regional production of biogas on the Island, based upon manure and food waste. At present, no biogas is produced for commercial use in the municipality of Mörbylånga, but the potential is great on Öland. The Biogasboost Campaign has started, in order to raise awareness among citizens regarding the opportunities offered by biogas cars, especially for private users. The municipality of Mörbylånga is also part of an expert group, in order to make Kalmar county a pilot county for liquid biogas in Sweden.
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