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Sweden shuts down last coal power station - Claims renewable energy is a must.

Updated: May 18, 2020

Swedens last coal power station KVV6 in Stockholm has been shut down two years prior to original planning. The EU now has only three operational coal-fired energy stations as Austria followed suit with Sweden, shutting theirs down the following day. Europe Beyond Coal campaign director Kathrin Gutmann claims that renewable energy is a must in these times of current health issues around the globe.

Coal free by 2022

Sweden had originally planned to be coal-free by 2022 - but due to a mild winter, where the plant was not fired up, the plans were bought forward. As Stockholm was almost entirely dependent on fossil fuels only 40 years ago, it is inspiring to see the push the European country has made towards more sustainable energy sources. As seen in the graph from Statista.com below, in the period of 2004 to 2018, Sweden saw its CO2 emissions decrease from a high of 64 million metric tons of CO2 to 44.8 million.

Carbon Dioxide emissions in Sweden from 2000-2018

(in million metric tons of CO2)

Coronavirus - reducing fossil fuels

Although Sweden has made a massive push towards alternative energy sources Green Matters claims that not only the aforementioned mild winter but the effects of the COVID-19 virus have had a large impact on the demand for fossil fuels. For example, Britain has beat its own personal record for going 18 days without using electricity generated from coal-powered stations.

With many areas on lockdown due to the coronavirus, there are fewer cars on the roads emitting greenhouse gasses and a lower need for electricity over the country the requirement for fossil fuels has decreased.

Swedens renewable energy resources

As the reduction of fossil powered electricity has increased over the last 20 years Sweden has relied more on renewable energy resources for electricity and heating. Types of renewable energy that are incorporated in Swedens renewable energy plan include Solar power, Hydrolytic power, Biomass, and Wind-generated electricity.

The graph below shows the resources for Swedens energy in the year of 2018. It is easily seen how even two years prior to 2020 the country has a forward-thinking approach to sustainable energy.


With Sweden shutting down its final coal-powered electricity generating station two years ahead of schedule, the European country has highlighted the need for immediate change from fossil fuels to sustainable energies. With only tree operational coal power plants remaining in the EU, the world should look to them for inspiration on dealing with the Environmental issues we face in 2020 and the challenges in the years to come. Sustainable and renewable energy is a must if we plan to move forward.

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