The possible realization of the European spallation source has been a long and winding story. However, thanks to the conjunction of a number of events it now looks highly probable that in 2008 there will indeed be a decision on the site and on a funding partnership of European countries who will together build and operate this long-pulse spallation neutron source. Currently there is a reference design comprising of a 632 m long proton accelerator which will deliver 2 ms pulses of protons to a liquid metal target with 22 instruments receiving thermal and cold neutron beams and providing unprecedented data rates.
Lund is one of the two consortia competing to build the ESS – the ESS Scandinavia and a Hungarian–Spanish collaboration which is currently deciding on its preferred site. The Lund experience is one which highlights the many delicate steps which must be taken in order to get close to such decisions in a Europe of 30 plus nations. Of particular interest is the Energy Management Strategy which ESS Scandinavia would implement if Lund were to be the eventual chosen site. This will be set into the context of the political iniatives to mitigate the effects of global warming.