Swedish petroculture: lessons for transitioning to a sustainable energy system

To mitigate climate change a radical shift in energy systems is needed and this is also a key goal in Swedish energy policy. The ideas of radical changes in the Swedish energy system are hardly new and over time the shares of fossil fuels in the Swedish energy production have decrease radically. However, two fields are still heavily oil dependent, and seem almost impossible to change: transport and commodity consumption. Why are these areas particularly resistant to change? We aim to answer that by focusing on two key concerns using the concept of petroculture. First, how was a Swedish petroculture established, and what lessons can be learned for a new transition, this time to renewable energy? Second, which are the current cultures and practices stemming from this petroculture that make these areas resistant to change? We will study these questions from a history of culture and technology perspective in order to unpack this resistance and find ways around it.

Partner organizations

  • Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) (Academic, Sweden)
Start date 01/01/2019
End date 31/12/2023

Published: Sat 30 May 2020.