February 11, 2006

A big move toward breaking the nation's addiction to oil.

Unfortunately, the nation this magpie's talking about isn't the US — it's Sweden.

While Dubya and the GOP-controlled Congress continue to hand over subsidies to the oil companies and give tax deductions to people who buy SUVs, the Swedes are planning to eliminate their economy's dependence on oil by 2020, replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy sources. And, interestingly, the Swedes think they can do it without increasing their reliance on nuclear power.

"Our dependency on oil should be broken by 2020," said Mona Sahlin, minister of sustainable development. "There shall always be better alternatives to oil, which means no house should need oil for heating, and no driver should need to turn solely to gasoline."

According to the energy committee of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, there is growing concern that global oil supplies are peaking and will shortly dwindle, and that a global economic recession could result from high oil prices.

Ms Sahlin has described oil dependency as one of the greatest problems facing the world. "A Sweden free of fossil fuels would give us enormous advantages, not least by reducing the impact from fluctuations in oil prices," she said. "The price of oil has tripled since 1996."

A government official said: "We want to be both mentally and technically prepared for a world without oil. The plan is a response to global climate change, rising petroleum prices and warnings by some experts that the world may soon be running out of oil."

Via UK Guardian.

Posted by Magpie at February 11, 2006 12:21 AM | International | Technorati links |

Slashdot recently ran a story on this. Apparenntly Sweden shut down a perfectly good nuclear reactor in order to import fuel from Danish & Polish coal plants, so these guys might not have it all together. MetaFilter doesn't seem to think much of the idea either. I worry that by the time 2020 rolls around, no one's gonna remember this proposal...

Posted by: Capt. Jean-Luc Pikachu at February 11, 2006 11:13 AM

2020 - isn't that just about the time that Sweden's North Sea oil is supposed to run out?

Posted by: PhilW at February 11, 2006 03:11 PM

sweden doesn't have any north sea oil, which isn't surprising given that it doesn't have any north sea beachfront :)

i believe that you are thinking of norway, which is one of the world's major oil producers.

Posted by: magpie at February 11, 2006 08:20 PM