In the race to gain more power from clean and renewable sources, government plays a major role. Recently, Sweden's government positioned itself as a world leader when it announced that it would transition to 100 percent renewables.
In a September speech before the U.N. General Assembly, Prime Minister Stefan Lofven announced that his country will work toward becoming "one of the first fossil fuel-free welfare states in the world.”
The transition will require significant federal investment, as reflected in national budget for next year. The 2016 Budget Bill includes 4.5 billion SEK (Swedish kroner) in green power infrastructure investments. One U.S. dollar is equal to about 8.6 SEK.
The government’s proposed investment includes 225 million SEK in solar cell support, 25 million SEK in electricity storage, and another 10 million SEK toward establishing a national forum for smart electricity grids. The government also wants to spend 1 billion SEK to renovate and improve energy-efficiency in residential buildings in disadvantaged areas.
The government is prepared to invest heavily in a transportation sector that will be completely independent of fossil fuels, relying instead on electric cars and buses, railways, and cycling. The government is proposing to spend 100 million SEK on the latter alone.
The government is proposing an increase in funding of 62 million SEK to support the growth of companies involved in green technologies and another 3 million SEK to develop a sustainable consumption strategy.
Lastly, the government is encouraging climate change adaptation in all sectors of society. To raise awareness among government agencies, municipalities, the business sector and individuals, the government is proposing a 3 million SEK investment in a sustainable consumption strategy.
The goal is ambitious, and the investment will be large. Sweden currently generates about two-thirds of its electricity from renewable sources.