The Swedish Bioenergy Association publishes the BioHeat map every year, which shows all heat networks in the country that use biomass As fuel. The 2017 map, published in February of this year, shows 511 facilities. 292 of these plants generate more than 10 GWh of heat. The remaining 219 are smaller plants supplying 2-10 GWh. Also, there are a number of even smaller plants, which are not shown on the map. Today, almost all cities and towns in Sweden have district heatings to heat apartment buildings, single-family homes, and deliver hot water or steam to industries. The district heatings represent 57% of all the energy used for heating buildings and hot water.
Almost all district heatings use biomass as energy sources. Some also use peat, while a couple use straw. Almost all the biomass used comes from wood fuels such as wood chips, bark, sawdust, forest residues, wood pellets, wood debris or short-rotation sowing. The latest 2015 fuel statistics show that 63% of all fuels used for urban heating in Sweden come from biomass, with 13% of municipal waste and peat, and 8% of industrial waste heat, from which a large part comes from forest industries. The use of fossil fuels in urban heating is less than 8% and has continued to decline year after year.
Most of the biomass used is waste and low-value waste products that are obtained locally, creating jobs for farmers, forest owners and local entrepreneurs and transporters. 90% of heating plants are cogeneration plants (heat and electricity) that produce heating for district heating and electricity. Efficiency The energy content of such plants is very high: around 95% of the energy in the fuel ends up as energy and useful heat. Very little energy escapes through the chimney, and with the condensation of the combustion gases, almost all the energy of the combustion gases is recovered. Before the oil crisis in the 1970 decade, all Swedish heating plants used oil. Today, almost no oil is used, and only limited quantities of coal and gas. The change from fossil oil to renewable biomass is almost complete.