Energy transition of society

The transition from fossil energy means a sea change in society. New companies and branches of industry are growing while others are being eliminated. People’s behaviours and choices affect energy use and, conversely, the structure of the energy system has a major impact on everyday life. How should we weigh large-scale and small-scale solutions against one another? Flexibility and low costs have to be weighed against considerations of security and autonomy. The need to exploit natural resources for new technologies confronts the need to conserve environments.

At Uppsala University there is a range of research relating to the energy transition in society and associated challenges. Several of the initiatives are collaborative and have an interdisciplinary sustainability perspective.

A meter with a rotary knob and three positions: fossil fuels, nuclear fuels and renewable energy. The rotary knob has been set to renewable energy

Research areas

Energy Transition on Gotland 

Energy Transition on Gotland is a long-term collaboration with the primary goal of identifying the measures needed to make the energy system on Gotland 100 per cent renewable. It is an interdisciplinary project with researchers who have cutting-edge expertise in fields including renewable energy, planning and acceptance, energy efficiency and storage, climate change and transport. The project combines Gotland’s specific geographical circumstances with ongoing research and education in energy transition and wind power.

Energy Transition on Gotland on the Department of Earth Sciences website

Uppsala Smart Energy Research group – USER 

The interdisciplinary Uppsala Smart Energy Research group (USER) conducts research to increase knowledge about the role of electricity consumers in creating smart electricity grids. The research group focuses on user behaviour and on sociotechnical perspectives on demand flexibility, decentralised production, storage and electric vehicles. Several of the research projects concern the potential of flexible electricity use to solve the problem of capacity shortages in the electricity network.

Uppsala Smart Energy Research group (USER) website on ongoing research projects

Uppsala University Sustainability Initiatives (UUSI)

Uppsala University Sustainability Initiatives (UUSI) is an interdisciplinary platform in which researchers in various fields work together to strengthen Uppsala University’s research on sustainability issues based on the 2030 Agenda. The goal is to find new solutions for a more sustainable future. UUSI works in five selected focus areas: social justice, circular economy, water – a shared critical resource, sustainable urban development and climate leadership. 

Uppsala University Sustainability Initiatives (UUSI) website

Zennström Climate Change Leadership

This node started in 2015 and consists of a 10-year series of visiting professorships in climate change leadership, each lasting two years. It is co-financed by Zennström Philanthropies and focuses on the existential issues associated with climate change. The Zennström Climate Change Leadership node is part of the Natural Resources and Sustainable Development research programme at the Department of Earth Sciences. 

Zennström Climate Change Leadership on the Department of Earth Sciences website

Natural Resources and Sustainable Development

Uppsala University’s research on natural resources, their exploitation and their use encompasses human development and its impact on global ecosystems. The Natural Resources and Sustainable Development research programme has two main research themes: environment, nature and society; and global energy systems.

Natural Resources and Sustainable Development research programme on the Department of Earth Sciences website 

Environmental law

Environmental law research in Uppsala focuses on the implementation of the global political objective of sustainable development and subsidiary environmental goals. Ongoing research projects address legal preconditions for biodiversity protection, adaptive water management, sustainable energy systems, chemicals control, the implementation of environmental quality standards, and licensing and control.

Environmental law on the Department of Law website

Last modified: 2022-01-27