Swedish petroculture: lessons for transitioning to a sustainable energy system
Research Project, 2019 – 2024

To mitigate climate change a radical shift in energy systems is needed and this is also a key goal in Swedish energy policy. The ideas of radical changes in the Swedish energy system are hardly new and over time the shares of fossil fuels in the Swedish energy production have decrease radically. However, two fields are still heavily oil dependent, and seem almost impossible to change: transport and commodity consumption. Why are these areas particularly resistant to change? We aim to answer that by focusing on two key concerns using the concept of petroculture. First, how was a Swedish petroculture established, and what lessons can be learned for a new transition, this time to renewable energy? Second, which are the current cultures and practices stemming from this petroculture that make these areas resistant to change? We will study these questions from a history of culture and technology perspective in order to unpack this resistance and find ways around it.


Anna Åberg (contact)

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Science, Technology and Society

Jens Millkrantz

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Science, Technology and Society


Royal Institute of Technology (KTH)

Stockholm, Sweden


Swedish Energy Agency

Project ID: 2018-004228
Funding Chalmers participation during 2019–2023

Related Areas of Advance and Infrastructure

Sustainable development

Driving Forces


Areas of Advance



Petrokultur och energihistoria

Review article

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