The Swedish Government has ditched its targets for “100% renewable energy” supply amid a shift back to nuclear power in the latest blow for the unreliable and inefficient technology.
Announcing the new policy in the Swedish Parliament, the Finance Minister Elisabeth Svantesson said: “This creates the conditions for nuclear power. We need more electricity production, we need clean electricity and we need a stable energy system.”
Environmental campaign group Net Zero Watch has welcomed the move, saying the Swedish decision is “an important step in the right direction, implicitly acknowledging the low quality of unstable wind and solar, and is part of a general collapse of confidence in the renewable energy agenda pioneered in the Nordic countries and in Germany”.
Sweden remains committed to “100% fossil-free” energy provision, but the change means it now sees nuclear power as critical to achieving it.
Sweden can “afford to reject fossil fuels, relying on nuclear and hydro and biomass”, Net Zero Watch suggests. But the U.K. should go further, since in “substantial industrialised economies… only a gas to nuclear pathway is viable to remain industrialised and competitive”.
Others have suggested that burning vast amounts of biomass i.e., wood is not really more ecologically friendly and lower-emission than burning the much more energy-dense fuels of gas and coal. Further objections to biomass and other fossil fuel alternatives include that lowering carbon dioxide emissions is not really a worthwhile goal for an individual country or globally as the potential harms of the gas are uncertain and exaggerated and the benefits overlooked.
Dr. John Constable, Net Zero Watch’s Energy Director, said that “living close to Russia focuses the mind”, and the Swedish people wish to “ground their economy in an energy source, nuclear, that is physically sound and secure, unlike renewables which are neither”.
“For the time being the U.K. Government continues to live in a fantasy of its own making, but we are coming to the end of the green dream,” he added.