London, 23 June – Net Zero Watch today welcomed the decision of the Swedish government to cancel its targets for “100% renewable energy” supply and shift to a more technology neutral aspiration for “100% fossil-free” energy provision.
This change of policy signals a major change of emphasis that puts Sweden back on track to base its society on nuclear energy. 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.”
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.
The United Kingdom has every reason to follow Sweden’s lead but should go further. A small population in a large country such as Sweden can afford to reject fossil fuels, relying on nuclear and hydro and biomass, but the United Kingdom, and other substantial industrialised economies need to face the facts, and understand that only a gas to nuclear pathway is viable to remain industrialised and competitive.
Dr John Constable, NZW’s Energy Director, said:
Living close to Russia focuses the mind, and the Swedish people not only wish to join NATO but also 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 UK government continues to live in a fantasy of their own making, but we are coming to the end of the green dream.”