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Sweden To Go Oil-Free (Revisited)

In early January, we pointed to Sweden's ambitious plans to build the "green welfare state," including efforts to eliminate the use of petroleum by 2020. The UK's Guardian just picked up on the announcement this week, however, and we've received numerous suggested links to their article. Since there's clearly continued interest in the subject, here are some useful links for people who may have missed them previously:

The Swedish Ministry of Sustainable Development's website.

The Ministry's October 2005 announcement: "Sweden first to break dependence on oil! New programme presented." This press release has more information than the Guardian article, and is well worth checking out.

The commission planning out this shift away from petroleum includes the chief executive of Volvo Trucks, a good indicator that industry is working with the government on this idea, not against it.

If Sweden can pull this off -- and given how aggressively the nation has moved to renewable energy sources, which now make up 26% of Sweden's energy production, that seems entirely possible -- it would be a strong positive reinforcement of the viability of moving away from fossil fuels.

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» Cold Times Ahead: Energy Policies Leave Sweden in the Dark from The Brussels Journal
Sweden is often hailed as an example by the greens and the left for creating a “green welfare stateâ€? and eliminating all non-renewable energy resources by the year 2020. This certainly sounds very comforting for a European Union facing an energy crisi [Read More]

Comments (5)

Eric Weaver:

Amazing. Exciting. Appreciate the reposting.

pam:

You have no idea how wonderful this is and how wonderful your site is for continued posting of information such as this.

Hopefully the tipping point for clean energy is fairly low and once a few nations have taken the plunge, the big players will move fast.

horos22:

well, I wish them luck, but that 'renewable energy being 26%' bit is mostly because of hydropower, which sweden is well-endowed with.

The way they want to do it is suspect, too. Biofuels are a bit of a myth, really. They are in essence, a well, less than 1% solar cell, discounting the energy needed to collect them, and the natural gas needed to turn them into ethanol.

Anyways, we'll see. They've got the means to do this, but my bet is that they will need a hell of a lot of cheap electricity to do this (via the hydrogen route), and my bet is that they'll have to expand their nuclear fleet.

Ed

It will be interesting to see which way Sweden goes on nuclear. Their current policy of not reprocessing the waste, and instead building elaborate facilities to store it for thousands of years, seems rather expensive, and I understand that the economy is not what it once was.

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