Gotland is the largest island in the Baltic Sea located almost in the middle between the Swedish mainland and the Baltic countries. The island of Gotland has 57 200 inhabitants. The main urban community on Gotland is Visby, which is the centre for regional and county administration as well as for higher education. Visby has about 23 000 inhabitants. Villages with 800 – 1800 permanent residents also serve as municipal service centres. About 20 000 of the island’s permanent residents are scattered widely over the countryside.
In Vision 2025, adopted in 2008 by the Regional Council, Region Gotland has set itself the challenge of having a climate-neutral energy supply by 2025: Offering the highest possible efficiency and economy, the energy supply will be climate-neutral, based on local, renewable resources and will contribute to sustainable growth and the development of local business.
Region Gotland is the regional authority, governed by an elected council and their representatives in the regional board of politicians. The region is the largest employer on the island. Region Gotland is responsible for the growth in the region. Sustainable growth is promoted by the objectives adopted in the Vision 2025.
The role of the region in energy aspects
Region Gotland can contribute to a transition to a sustainable energy use on the island by direct or indirect influence over:
Transport, traffic planning, , parking areas, public transport, access for cyclists and pedestrians
Regulations for and planning of land use, planning permission and building permits, public energy advisory service
Management of recycling and -waste material
Water works, sewer systems and sewage work
Public procurement of goods and services with impact on climate and environment
Education and training, consumer guidance and information to citizens
Project funding of regional development projects
Energy efficiency and RES penetration in own buildings and transports
Share-holding in the local grid- and electricity company
The region has the opportunity to take the lead and to act as an arena for work carried out locally. This generates positive effects, including an improved living environment, cleaner air and lower energy costs. Measures aimed at mitigating climate change are a powerful driving force for technological innovation and improved local economy.