Speaking at a scheduled meeting of the UN General Assembly, the Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven made a loud statement that “Sweden will become one of the first fossil fuel-free welfare states in the world.”
The Nordic countries of Europe have traditionally been the leaders in the use and implementation of renewable energy sources. At the moment, according to experts, the region's dependence from hydrocarbon is approaching 50%, and this figure is constantly decreasing. Maximum result of electricity generation from wind has been achieved by Denmark on one extremely windy day this July: 140% of the country’s electricity needs were produced solely from wind power, the remains have been exported to the neighboring countries (Germany, Sweden and Norway). Almost 100% of the electricity in Iceland comes from renewable sources thanks to the successes of investments in hydroelectric and geothermal projects.
Sweden, in its turn, already generates about two-thirds of the electricity from renewable sources. However, the full transition to the use of alternative sources of energy is difficult to achieve for a country with a developed infrastructure, industry and economics, like Sweden.
The country's budget for the 3-4 quarters of this year, provides for investment in the development of “green energy”, which amounts to about 4.5 billion Swedish kronor (about 5.3 billion US dollars). It is stated that the money will be spent on the development of such areas as solar and wind energy, environmentally friendly public transport, energy-efficient houses, energy transport and storage systems.
The existing nuclear power plants (Oskarshamn, Ringhals, Forsmark), producing today about 45% of the country's power consumption, are planned to be decommissioned in the next few years. This is partly due to the fact that nuclear plants are becoming obsolete and unprofitable, but the main reason is a decisive leap in the direction of renewable energy sources.
In addition, the Swedish government plans to spend about 50 million kroner annually for the research of electricity storage, and 1 billion kronor to upgrade housing and communal services in order to achieve the maximum energy efficiency.
Stefan Löfven says: “We are convinced that Children should grow up in a toxin-free environment – the precautionary principle, the removal of dangerous substances and the idea that the polluter should pay are the basis of our politics.”
The impressive investment in clean energy and severe attitude of Sweden to pollutants, inspire the international community for a more determined struggle against the global climate change.
The idea of a 100% of electricity from RES tends to spread throughout the world.
For example, representatives of the State of Hawaii have recently announced their plans to make their state the first in the USA to use exclusively electricity from renewable sources.