Clean Energy, Nordic Style


Hunderfossen Dam, Norway via Sigurd Rage/Flickr

Thanks to Anthropocene:

Nordic countries offer important lessons for clean-energy transition

Aggressive climate and energy policies have made Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden leaders in renewables and energy efficiency, Benjamin Sovacool of Denmark’s Aarhus University writes in the paper. Denmark is renowned for wind energy, Finland and Sweden bioenergy, Norway hydroelectricity, and Iceland geothermal energy. They all aim to be fossil fuel-free by 2050.

Using data from International Energy Agency and Nordic Energy Research reports, Sovacool analyzed how the countries are achieving low-carbon goals and what challenges exist. He focused on the four pillars of the Nordic energy transition: renewable electricity and heat, energy efficiency, transport, and industry.

Nordic countries get 83 percent of their electricity from low-carbon sources, of which 63 percent comes from renewables. But there is room for more renewables, especially wind, biomass and waste, hydro, and geothermal, he says. Fossil fuels still dominate transport in these countries, and they all need to push for low-carbon transport. They also need to improve energy efficiency, and need carbon capture and storage at iron, steel, chemical, and cement industrial facilities.

The challenges to get there are sociotechnical, Sovacool writes. Namely, the need for technology development, strong political support, and social acceptance. A key concern is the loss of fossil fuel-related jobs and the need for retraining, as well as a lack of understanding of climate and energy topics…

Source: Sovacool BK. Contestation, contingency, and justice in the Nordic low-carbon energy transition. Energy Policy. 2016

Read the whole summary here.

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