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Sweden to abandon oil and nuclear power

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Section: International News Geography: Europe Sweden

February 14, 2006

Sweden to abandon oil and nuclear power

by Gwalgen Geordie Dent

Sweden is attempting to become the world's first oil-free country by 2020, without the use of nuclear power.  According to the Swedish government, "Energy policy should create the conditions for efficient and sustainable energy use and a cost-effective Swedish energy supply which has minimum negative impact on health, the environment and the climate. It should also facilitate the transition to an ecologically sustainable society."
 
Currently 45 per cent of Swedish electricity comes from nuclear power while 8 per cent comes from fossil fuels.  In the last two years, however, Sweden has stopped importing electricity and has increased its production of hydroelectric power to compensate.   A 1980 referendum called for the phasing out of nuclear power, allowing operating plants to operate only until the end of their technical life (assumed to be 25 years).
 
According to the Guardian "The Swedish government is working with carmakers Saab and Volvo to develop cars and lorries that burn ethanol and other biofuels."   Public and private industries are being given grants to convert to other energy sources.
 
Sweden has decided to convert to renewable energy sources to prevent the problems of climate change and avoid the predicted high oil prices --problems similar to those Sweden faced in the 1970's.   Brazil and Iceland have also developed plans to shift 80 to 100 per cent of the fuel used by their transport vehicles to renewable energy sources in the near future.

Geordie Gwalgen Dent

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The Dominion is a monthly paper published by an incipient network of independent journalists in Canada. It aims to provide accurate, critical coverage that is accountable to its readers and the subjects it tackles. Taking its name from Canada's official status as both a colony and a colonial force, the Dominion examines politics, culture and daily life with a view to understanding the exercise of power.

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