Sweden: the new avant- garde in the energy industry
Author: Martina Paoli
Translated by Martina Paoli
SWEDEN: THE NEW AVANT- GARDE IN THE ENERGY INDUSTRY
Sweden has demonstrated to be forward-looking as early as 2005, introducing a number of policies aimed at respecting the environment, in order to become an inspirational leader in the renewable energy industry and be an excellent example on a global scale.
Recently, on the basis of the precarious environmental framework emerged during the International Conference on Climate Change held in Paris, the Swedish government has announced the intention of abandoning fossil fuels by 2020 and choosing more intelligent, alternative energy solutions. Other countries endorse similar initiatives too, including Costa Rica, Denmark (which has invested largely in the wind energy industry), Island (which obtain almost 100% of the energy from renewable geothermal sources such as volcanos, geysers, wind and waterfalls) and Norway, though it is still one of the world’s main oil and gas producers.
Currently, about 80% of the energy requirements of the country is satisfied by different sustainable resources, especially related to hydroelectric and nuclear power, while only 20% is connected to the use of fossil fuels. Nevertheless, according to Anne Vadasz Nilsson, Director General of the Swedish Energy Markets Inspectorate, Stockholm seriously intend to stop subsidize the nuclear industry because it is considered obsolete, too expensive and potentially dangerous. For this reason, at least 8 nuclear power plants will close very soon.
As declared many times before, the basic pillars of the political strategy of the Prime Minister Stefan Löfven are the precautionary principle, the fight against pollution and the effort to guarantee a clean, healthy environment for the future generations. The government has elaborated an eco-friendly investments plan, which includes the allocation of:
• SEK 4.5 billion in the next 12 months to create green infrastructures, install solar panels and wind turbines, and develop biomasses;
• SEK 50 million every year in technologies for the energy storage sector;
• SEK 1 billion for the thermo-modernisation of public and residential buildings, in order to reduce the energy consumption;
• SEK 500 million to promote renewable energy in developing countries.
Without a doubt, Sweden represents a leading, state-of-the-art model for other countries all over the world. Thanks to the love for the natural heritage and the diffusion of the “culture of reuse”, this nation succeed in recycling 99% of waste, importing them from abroad too. Electricity generated by renewable sources powers the public lighting system and transports. Most of the vehicles are hybrid, electric, or gas powered. There is a constant increase in the production of biofuels for the aviation sector. Furthermore, off the west coast of the country, the Swedish company Seabased AB has developed the biggest existing plant for the production of energy from sea waves. Despite the fact that it is a little-known industry, around 20,000 jobs are expected to be created by 2030.