Sweden has done something very few countries or jurisdictions have done with respect to energy: they have kept their eye on the goal. The Swedish Parliament adopted an energy target of “100% fossil-free” energy—which should be everyone’s goal—rather than falling into the trap of focusing on and dictating the means to that goal. This is so rare, it deserves recognition.
In Sweden adopts ‘100% fossil -free energy target, easing way for nuclear, EURACTIV reports on Sweden’s new plan to remove their “100% renewable” target in order to use all available clean energy resources—including nuclear—to meet the expected doubling of energy demand while also meeting a net zero emissions goal by 2045.
“This creates the conditions for nuclear power,” Finance Minister Elisabeth Svantesson said in parliament. “We need more electricity production, we need clean electricity and we need a stable energy system.”
This new policy gives a green light for the government to push forward with plans by state-owned utility, Vattenfall, to build new small modular nuclear reactor plants and refurbish the country’s existing plants to extend the their operating lives. Meanwhile, they are also working to simplify environmental permitting to speed up not just the build-out of nuclear but also for wind power and to accelerate other green technologies.
This is a very significant and promising change of focus which every country should adopt, while allowing utilities to find the best path forward for eliminating their use of fossil fuels. As far as we can tell, nothing else will enable the transition to move ahead at maximum speed.