Sweden to Become One of World’s First Fossil Fuel-Free Nation

Lorraine Chow | September 25, 2015

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.”

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 kronorThe country already receives about 78% of its electricity from nuclear power and hydroelectric power, which do not generate carbon emissions.  “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.”
  • 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% 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.
  • 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.”
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