Sweden’s mission to become ‘one of the first fossil fuel-free welfare states of the world’

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Sweden is in the process of phasing out fossil fuels in an attempt to run completely off renewable energy.

Renewable energy already accounts for over half of Sweden’s total energy needs and Between 2013 and 2014, 51.1 percent of Sweden’s energy needs were met by renewables, that’s according to data from Eurostat and the Renewable Energy Directive.

Sweden’s aim to reduce their carbon emissions and boost supply security has been long underway.

Back In September 2015, Sweden’s prime minister announced the countries energy ambitions in a speech to the UN General Assembly.

“Sweden will become one of the first fossil-free welfare states in the world,” Prime Minister Stefan Löfven told the press. “When European regulations do not go far enough Sweden will lead the way.”

“By setting ambitious goals, Sweden will take a leading role in the international negotiations on a new climate agreement,” the Swedish government said.

“Only by doing so do we take our moral responsibility for future generations, while taking advantage of the job and innovation opportunities that the green transition brings.”

According to Bloomberg, Sweden plans to completely abandon fossil fuels through some serious investment in renewables. The Scandinavian nation has pledged:

  • 390 million kronor per year between 2017 and 2019 in photovoltaics, with a plan to spend 1.4 billion kronor in total
  • 50 million kronor annually on electricity storage research
  • 10 million kronor on smart grids
  • 1 billion kronor to renovate residential buildings and make them more energy efficient
  • Subsidies and investment in green transportation such as electric cars and buses
  • Increase funding of climate-related projects in developing countries, raising its budget to 500 million kronor

According to recent figures published by Statista, Sweden’s renewable energy share (RES) was larger than that of many other European nations.

The UK had the fourth lowest RES at 5.7 percent, followed by Ireland with 8.2 per cent.

The figures show that many countries around Europe are increasing their renewable energy capacity.

Last week, Portugal hit a significant milestone in its bid to become entirely reliant on renewable energy sources by running for four days without using any fossil fuels. The same week saw Denmark’s wind farms supplied 140 per cent of demand, in an achievement hailed as “the key to stop global warming”.

On Sunday, clean energy supplied almost all of Germany’s power demand for the first time.

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