Sweden - Direct Uses




 geothermal heat pumps





Total thermal installed capacity in MWt


Direct use in TJ/year


Direct use in GWh/year


Capacity factor



Country Update: Geothermal energy in Sweden is dominated by low temperature, shallow systems for direct-use. The vast majority of installed geothermal energy systems are ground source heat pumps (GSHP) for space heating and domestic hot water heating for single family buildings. About 20% of the Swedish buildings use GSHP. The market for larger shallow geothermal energy systems for residential as well as non-residential buildings has been expanding during the last few years. The Lund deep geothermal plant is the largest geothermal heat pump installation in Sweden. The two heat pumps deliver 21 and 27 MWt of heat respectively, providing a net of 200 GWh annually. The vast majority of the Swedish shallow geothermal energy systems are vertical boreholes in hard rock.

The typical shallow geothermal energy extraction system is a groundwater filled vertical closed loop GSHP system. The heat pump is typically electrically driven and is used for both space heating and domestic hot water heating. About 20 to 25% of all shallow geothermal systems are horizontal ground loops in soft ground material. Indications are that there are currently some 500,000 ground source heat pumps installed in Sweden, of which about 10,000 are open groundwater or surface water heat pump systems. Shallow geothermal systems are also used in district heating networks, providing some 0.65 TWh/year to these networks. Large Aquifer Thermal Energy Storage (ATES) and Borehole Thermal Energy Storage (BTES) are used in the commercial and institutional sectors. The total geothermal heat pumps systems used in the country are 5,600 MWt of installed capacity and 51,920

TJ/yr of annual energy use (Gehlin, et al., 2015).

Taken from: John W. Lund and Tonya L. Boyd
Published in Direct Utilization of Geothermal Energy 2015 Worldwide Review

Total thermal installed capacity in MWt:4,460
Direct use in TJ/year45,301
Direct use in GWh/year12,584.6
Capacity factor0.32

Heat pumps are the main geothermal use in the country, with the Lund district heating project being the largest geothermal plant producing about 250 GWh/yr, and has been doing so for 25 years.

The majority of the heat pumps are small and typically used in single houses. There are currently around 230,000 installations with about 25,000 units installed annually. Bedrock-soil-water is the most common source for heat pumps using geothermal energy with about 12 TWh of energy extracts or about 15% of the national heat demand covered. A number of systems used underground thermal energy storage UTES), either as aquifer thermal energy storage (ATES) orborehole thermal energy storage (BTES). The former was implemented in the mid 1980s and current there are approximately 100 plants using this system, mainly large scale with average capacity of 2.5 MWt. 
Water wells are used and serve a dual function, both as production and injections wells, with the flow direction being reversed from summer to winter. The BTES systems consist of a number of closed spaced boreholes, normally 50 to 200 m deep. These are equipped with borehole heat exchanger, with the holes filled with ground water and not grouted. It has been shown that water filled boreholes are more efficient than grouted ones. These are typically used for combined heat and cooling of commercial and institutional buildings. The reported total for UTES is 90 MWt and 504 TJ/yr for heatings and 90 MWt and 612 TJ/yr for cooling.

For geothermal use in the country the following is listed:

140 MWt and 828 TJ/yr for individual space heating;
90 MWt and 504 TJ/yr for UTES;
4,230 MWt and 43,969 TJ/yr for other geothermal heat pump systems;

for a total of 4,460 MWt and 45,301 TJ/yr, all as geothermal heat pumps.  

Taken from the paper by John W. Lund, Derek H. Freeston, and Tonya L. Boyd: "Direct Utilization of Geothermal Energy 2010 Worldwide Review"; published in Proceedings of the World Geothermal Congress 2010, Bali, Indonesia, 25-29 April 2010