Sweden set to have 100 per cent renewable energy by 2040

Forward thinking: windmill generators in the sea between Sweden and Denmark (REX/Shutterstock)

Those forward-thinking Swedes have (almost) done it again: the Scandinavian country is on target to run entirely on renewable energy by 2040, according to a regulatory official.

Anne Vadasz Nilsson, Director General of the Swedish Energy Markets Inspectorate, says renewable energy sources, such as hydro and wind, accounted for 57 per cent of the country’s power production during 2016.

The rest came from nuclear – but that isn’t expected to be the case for much longer.

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The top regulatory official told Reuters: “We are not densely populated, we have a lot of good places to put land-based large-scale wind and there is large potential for that in Sweden.

“Renewables, meaning large-scale wind, in Sweden are cheaper on the other hand [than nuclear], and cheaper to commission and to run. This together with low wholesale prices will make it less likely that new nuclear power plants will replace the remaining ones when they are phased out due to old age.”

Vadasz Nilsson confirmed that four of Sweden’s 10 nuclear reactors are being phased out, and there are no plans currently in place to build further hydropower plants.

She said: “However our simulations show that due to the base load from our [current] hydropower plants and the high degree of interconnection with neighbouring countries, the hours with very high prices, indicating scarcity of capacity, will be quite few.

“This together with a more developed market for demand-side response will safeguard capacity even on cold winter days when the wind is not blowing.”