Sofia Gradin | 02.10.2005 12:40 | World
The government will be launching a programme to subsidise owners of residential houses who swap from fossil fuels to renewables. The renewables quota system introduced in 2003 will be expanded, forcing all electricity customers to buy a certain, and constantly increasing, percentage of renewable electricity. The government will also subsidise drivers of environmentally friendly cars by making carbon dioxide-neutral fuels free from taxes. There will also be more public money going into research, with the aim of developing more and more efficient renewable energy production.
The government, obviously, is not promising any miracles – the "independence" bit is not in there by mistake. It is highly unlikely that Sweden will become anything near oil-free by 2020 – all the government is saying is that the country shouldn't _depend_ on oil. What the government's plan has in store for the industrial sector, and for heavier forms of transport such as aviation and lorries, does not emerge from yesterday's announcement. Still, for a government to signal concern for the environment in such a drastic way is impressive.
The government's announcement in Swedish, published in Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter:
The Watt article (English): http://www.thewatt.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=779
Treehugger article (English): http://www.treehugger.com/files/2005/09/sweden_to_detox.php