Local energy systems for homes and buildings

Energy systems all over the world will undergo a major change over the next few years. Cheaper, more efficient technical solutions such as solar cells, wind power and geothermal energy in combination with energy optimisation will pave the way for local electricity production and facilitate the climate transition through more efficient and sustainable use of energy.


Sweden, like many other countries, is currently undergoing massive expansion of renewable electricity as a consequence of greater emphasis on climate change reduction measures and other factors. Infrastructure initiatives focusing on fossil energy are being challenged by technically effective and commercially viable technologies for renewable energy production. Solar power, wind power, geothermal energy and bioenergy are renewable energy sources that are available everywhere and are appropriate for local energy production adjacent to houses, housing associations, farms or commercial properties.

We are also seeing a development whereby consumers are becoming active prosumers, both producing and consuming energy. They are contributing to the energy system transition by producing their own solar electricity, storing energy in batteries and ensuring that their own consumption is metered and controlled digitally. The number of solar cell systems has quadrupled in Sweden over the last three years, with a power increase of 70 percent in 2019 alone. Solar cells reduce the cost of electricity, increase the value of properties and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This growth is expected to continue as the technology becomes cheaper and more efficient.


Large-scale, centralised production and distribution of energy has been the growth factor in the Industrial Revolution for centuries. It is now possible to produce energy locally at increasingly lower cost, thereby paving the way for private individuals and companies to produce their own electricity. Essentially, buildings can become self-sufficient using a mix of energy sources such as solar energy obtained via solar cells on the roof or in glass panels, geothermal energy obtained via ground source heat pumps, and energy reuse by means of supply air and exhaust systems. Buildings can also accommodate recharging points for electric vehicles by means of electricity supply points connected to solar cells. This is known as a distributed energy system.


A distributed energy system utilises local access to renewable energy and decentralises power over it due to greater diversity in terms of both energy sources and energy stakeholders. Energy will no longer be a product to trade on a regulated market, but the service that ensures that production and consumption of energy are utilised as efficiently as possible in any given location for private individuals, collectives of individuals or companies. Electricity is transported over shorter distances and energy losses are reduced when energy is supplied locally. Awareness of energy generated privately is increasing among prosumers, which is leading to greater incentives for streamlining and energy saving options.

Consumers and companies are gearing up for electrification of the transport sector. Photo: Johnér

Homes and buildings account for more than one third of energy consumption in Sweden, according to the Swedish Energy Agency. The Swedish climate goals for 2030 state that energy consumption must be 50 per cent more efficient than in 2005. This is why energy streamlining in the property sector is an important element in efforts to reduce Sweden’s overall energy consumption. Apartment blocks, housing associations, office premises, storage and distribution facilities and other buildings can both save money and reduce their climate impact by using innovative building technology, more efficient energy and heating systems and systematic monitoring and optimisation of energy consumption, heat and ventilation.

Property owners are investing in solar cells and energy streamlining. Photo: Christian Gustavsson

Digital fields of technology such as artificial intelligence (AI), advanced automation, the Internet of Things (IoT) and blockchain technology are creating a paradigm shift on the market for energy solutions for properties. New opportunities are being created in the form of integration of variable, renewable energy sources and the development and management of a distributed energy system where digitalisation is both a facilitator and a driving force for change. For property owners, digitalisation involves an opportunity for advanced management and optimisation of energy production and energy consumption while reducing operating and maintenance costs, increasing streamlining, increasing uptime and reducing outages. The new interface between the central power grid, microgrids and consumers is not entirely unlike what we have seen for the information society. It is predicted that energy, like information, will be free to use, but the intelligence and infrastructure providing it will become an advanced service upon which the market will capitalise.

Peas Industries is active in the market for distributed energy systems via its company Enstar. Enstar optimises the running of properties by means of efficient energy systems that take advantage of all renewable energy in and around the property.


1) The future of electricity: New technologies transforming the grid edge – World Economic Forum