Sweden can contribute to New York's transition

Property owners in New York need to reduce emissions from their buildings. Sweden can help with this, as Swedish companies have long experience and new innovations that can contribute to New York's climate transition.

Skyscrapers with single-glazed windows, boilers that are heated with natural gas and heat steam which is not recycled but rises from the underground. Heat recovery is low, and many buildings have not been updated with modern energy efficiency standards since they were built in the second half of the 20th century. This is standard for the urban environment of New York. But the iconic setting comes with a high price – soon to be even higher.

Buildings account for about 40 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions and reducing their impact is a key part of the work in the climate transition. Three major issues need to be resolved. How will existing construction be made more energy efficient? How to build sustainably in the future? How do buildings get the right supply of energy, heating and cooling, from a system perspective?

In an effort to speed up the transition, New York has for several years introduced strict regulations for emission reductions on large buildings. As early as 2024, property owners who do not live up to the requirements will be fined.

Another initiative from the State of New York is to prioritise further development of district heating in the region. The current district heating system is based on steam, but new solutions are required to serve the modern city and there are many buildings to be converted.

New York Climate Week

New York Climate Week takes place every year in September and is an important forum for highlighting different parts of the transition. The Swedish Energy Agency is participating again, to increase the visibility of Swedish solutions in several areas and promote cooperation between the State of New York and Sweden.

– New York is an attractive market for Swedish companies, and there is a great need for energy efficiency and system solutions in heating and cooling. Swedish companies have extensive experience and new innovations that can contribute to New York's transition. It is not an easy market to approach – and the role of the Swedish Energy Agency is to open doors and enable their journey across the Atlantic, said Sandra Ideskär, business developer at the Swedish Energy Agency.

With the help of the Swedish Energy Agency's accelerator programme Skyline, six Swedish companies with solutions that will make buildings more energy efficient get an opportunity to visit New York and learn more about the challenges and opportunities on the market. Companies get to network, pitch their products, participate in platforms, and descend into boiler rooms to see the true reality of New York's buildings.

Close cooperation with key players in district heating

The Swedish Energy Agency has been active in New York since 2022 to promote Swedish energy efficiency solutions that can be implemented quickly, as well as to spread know-how from Sweden in major system solutions such as district heating and geo energy.

In June, a delegation of property owners and other real estate actors from New York were invited to Stockholm. They visited showcased solutions in reconstruction and gained insight on how a state-of-the-art district heating system can present benefits for consumers and commercial real estate players, through heat recovery.

During Climate week, the Swedish Energy Agency organises an event to highlight the role of district heating in an energy-efficient urban environment - "The Future of Heat: Thermal Energy Networks in Stockholm and New York". The event is co-organized with The New York Building Energy Exchange and New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).

Stockholm Exergi will be present to share best practise about Stockholm's district heating system – from heat recovery to bio-CCS. The event is a follow-up to the visit to Stockholm in June.