Some people start the year by resolving to give something up. Sweden’s new year’s resolution, it seems, is to give up oil by 2020.
Breaking dependence on oil brings many opportunities for strengthened competitiveness, technological development and progress. The aim is to break dependence on fossil fuels by 2020. By then no home will need oil for heating. By then no motorist will be obliged to use petrol as the sole option available. By then there will always be better alternatives to oil.
They’re not the only ones. Jacques Chirac’s New Year message included the promise that SNCF and the Paris public transport system would not use a drop of oil in 20 years’ time.
Obviously the French view of this is primarily nuclear. The Swedes, though, seem keener on efficiency’n'renewables; apparently they have increased renewable power production by 4.5 terawatt-hours since 2002 with a target of 15TWh more by 2016. It might be worth pointing out something which got very little blog attention when it appeared last year – the UK wind industry’s capacity is now doubling every other year, which makes the UK government’s targets look anaemic. (10% of electricity generation).
After all, there are 986TWh of wind out there in the UK offshore economic zone. At a capacity factor of 30%, that ought to be enough to do the whole electricity supply (321TWh) – without getting started on the onshore sites.