Sweden recently announced that tax for renewable energy power generators over 255 kW would be reduced by 98%.
With that in mind, architects and developers in the Scandinavian nation are coming up with more and more innovative ways to harness the sun’s power and the wind’s velocity.
Sweden’s ICEHOTEL recently announced plans to use solar panels to keep their world famous frigid accommodations icy cold. Instead of closing for the spring and summer to prepare for the winter, the hotel is staying open all year long thanks to their new sustainable venture.
Another example of this is the Linköping apartment complex, a residential structure that generates more energy than it needs thanks to a large roof-mounted photovoltaic array.
Developed by Kjellgren Kaminsky Architecture, the six story building is a beautiful ode to a more traditional Swedish aesthetic within a brand new district called Vallastaden.
“We looked at the beautiful window framings which are typical of the stone city, and which often varied from floor to floor. Our reinterpretation of the windows resulted in a modern variant with brass colored frames in expanded metal,” reads the description on the architecture company’s website.
The exterior of the complex is a white stucco façade with two rows of square windows in varying sizes. The building then overlooks a courtyard area where residents can commune.
The interior of the apartments is generally minimalistic, with high ceilings and bright, white walls.
Vallastaden is a brand new district within the much older city of Linkoping in southern Sweden. The new town is unique in that it’s the focus of an upcoming urban living expo in September, promoting the more than 1000 residences built by 40 different developers all with social, environmental and economical sustainability in mind.
The result is a smorgasbord of architecture with no two houses the same. Called the Vallastaden Model, this new mode of urban planning contains a mix of detached houses, terrace houses, apartment buildings, student housing and commercial spaces all made from wood, cellular plastic, and other environmentally friendly construction materials.
Each property is geared towards using the natural world to power an entire community, something companies like Tesla are focused on.
Last November, the corporation along with SolarCity recently powered an entire island of Ta’u in American Samoa using a massive solar microgrid. This grid will also enable the island to stay fully powered for three days without sunlight, and its capacity will recharge fully in seven hours.
“This project will help lessen the carbon footprint of the world," local resident Keith Ahsoon said in a Tesla blog post.
Vallastaden in Sweden, Ta’u and even Portugal are all moving away from the idea that we need fossil fuel to survive. Portugal recently hit a milestone when it kept its lights on with renewable energy alone for four consecutive days last year.
With examples like these popping up all over the world, the idea of relying totally on what’s above instead of below is becoming a greater reality.