Sweden to Become One of World's First Fossil Fuel-Free Nations
Sweden is setting out to prove that the world doesn't need fossil fuels. In a recent announcement, the Swedish government said it will invest 4.5 billion kronor, or US$546 million, in their 2016 budget "to meet the challenges of climate change, increase the share of renewable energy and stimulate development of innovative environmental technology."
#Sweden on the way to becoming 1st ever #fossilfuel free nation: http://t.co/OwCY99VQiM via @business @RnfrstAll_SE http://t.co/xgm31oUMtK— Rainforest Alliance (@Rainforest Alliance)1443106850.0
"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."
As broken down by Bloomberg, here's how Sweden plans to completely abandon fossil fuels (no deadline has been set):
- 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
Science Alert also pointed out that most of the budget increase will be financed through tax increases on petrol and diesel fuel.
According to Science Alert, "The move comes after Sweden suffered extreme heatwaves last summer, and one of the worst bushfires in the country's history. The government has committed to taking action to protect its citizens from the effects of climate change in the future."
If Sweden's clean energy plans sound a bit like a pipe dream, the country already receives about 78 percent of its electricity from nuclear power and hydroelectric power, which do not generate carbon emissions. (Although it appears that the Scandanavian country is favorable towards nuclear energy, it has no plans to replace its aging plants. By the looks of its current budget, Sweden is throwing most of its eggs into the solar basket.)
Additionally, it's not so far-fetched for a country to run entirely on renewable energy sources. Earlier this year, Costa Rica announced that for roughly three months, 100 percent of the country's electricity needs came from renewables. Hawaii is also poised to become the first U.S. state to adopt such a standard.
Perhaps in an effort to "lead by example," as the Ecologist wrote, Sweden's clean energy announcement comes a few months before the all important international climate talks in Paris (or COP21) this December.
"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."
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
By Robin Scher
Beyond the questions surrounding the availability, effectiveness and safety of a vaccine, the COVID-19 pandemic has led us to question where our food is coming from and whether we will have enough.
- Can Urban Farms Prevent Hunger in 54 Million People in the U.S. ... ›
- New Report Finds Malnutrition World's Top Killer Amid Pandemic ... ›
- Oxfam Warns 12,000 Could Die Per Day From Hunger Due to ... ›
- Three Ways to Support a Healthy Food System During the COVID ... ›
- Trump USDA Resumes Effort to Cut Food Stamp Benefits - EcoWatch ›
- Pandemic Threatens Food Security for Many College Students ... ›
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Tearing through the crowded streets of Philadelphia, an electric car and a gas-powered car sought to win a heated race. One that mimicked how cars are actually used. The cars had to stop at stoplights, wait for pedestrians to cross the street, and swerve in and out of the hundreds of horse-drawn buggies. That's right, horse-drawn buggies. Because this race took place in 1908. It wanted to settle once and for all which car was the superior urban vehicle. Although the gas-powered car was more powerful, the electric car was more versatile. As the cars passed over the finish line, the defeat was stunning. The 1908 Studebaker electric car won by 10 minutes. If in 1908, the electric car was clearly the better form of transportation, why don't we drive them now? Today, I'm going to answer that question by diving into the history of electric cars and what I discovered may surprise you.
As bitcoin's fortunes and prominence rise, so do concerns about its environmental impact.
- 15 Top Conservation Issues of 2021 Include Big Threats, Potential ... ›
- How Blockchain Could Boost Clean Energy - EcoWatch ›
By David Drake and Jeffrey York
The Research Brief is a short take about interesting academic work.
The Big Idea
People often point to plunging natural gas prices as the reason U.S. coal-fired power plants have been shutting down at a faster pace in recent years. However, new research shows two other forces had a much larger effect: federal regulation and a well-funded activist campaign that launched in 2011 with the goal of ending coal power.
- Major Milestone: More than 100,000 MW Worth of Coal-Fired Power ... ›
- Coal Will Not Bring Appalachia Back to Life, But Tech and ... ›
- Renewables Beat Coal in the U.S. for the First Time This April ... ›