High biogas prices “damage green car sales”

A policy to link the price of environmentally-friendly biogas in Stockholm to the price of oil means that fewer people are buying new green cars, according to Volvo.

The council-owned water utility Stockholm Vatten, which provides biogas in the region, and gas stations in the area have pegged the price of biogas to the price of oil.

This means that with today’s record-high oil prices, biogas is priced at around 11 kronor per litre in Stockholm and Gothenburg. In most of the rest of the country, the fuel is priced at around 8 kronor per litre.

Car maker Volvo, one of the leading makers of biogas cars, is now protesting at the high price of green fuel.

“It’s hard to understand that [the council] talks about wanting more environmentally-friendly cars in Stockholm, but overcharges for the gas that it produces itself,” said Volvo Sweden press officer Bo Larsen to Swedish Radio.

The policy was also criticised by Sweden’s environment minister, Lena Sommestad, who told SR that she “sees no justifiable reason” to link biogas to the price of oil.

“This puts at a disadvantage a fuel that we would very much like to promote,” she said, but admitted when pressed that she would not take action against the council or petrol retailers.

But Stockholm Vatten’s acting managing director told SR that she saw no problem in letting the price of biogas follow the price of other fuels.

“All energy prices have some kind of link to each other,” said Gunilla Brattberg.

But one Left Party member of the board of Stockholm Vatten is arguing for the utility’s agreement with the petrol retailers to be renegotiated.

Stellan Hamrin said that he believed that the board was “quite united” on the idea of coming to a new agreement.