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    Sweden set a record for wind energy in February: Are other EU countries lagging behind?

    March 30, 2023 - Thai News Service


      More than a quarter of Sweden's electricity has come from wind power for two consecutive months.

      The Scandinavian country generated a record 27 per cent of electricity from wind in February, narrowly beating a 26 per cent record set in January this year.

      According to an analysis by energy think tank Ember - this is the highest-ever share of wind power generation in the country.

      The milestone comes after years of investment in renewables - a push that is paying off, says Nicolas Fulghum, Energy and Climate Data Analyst at Ember.

      Higher wind generation makes Sweden's grid more resilient against droughts, and protects consumers from high costs, he says.

      With policy ambition high to expand wind power further, Sweden is set for further benefits to costs, security and climate.

      How has Sweden set a new record for wind power generation?

      Sweden has ambitious clean energy targets and is aiming to reach 100 per cent renewable electricity production by 2040. By 2045, the country aims to have no net greenhouse emissions.

      To achieve these goals, Sweden has been pouring money into clean energy. Since 2018, its wind capacity has doubled and the country now boasts nearly 5,000 turbines.

      These generated around 4 terawatts of energy in February - 27 per cent of the country's electricity demand.

      In 2022, Sweden installed 2.4 GW of wind power capacity. Only Germany installed more, at around 2.5 GW. A gigawatt can power around 750,000 homes.

      With policy ambition high to expand wind power further, Sweden is set for further benefits to costs, security and climate, Fulghum says.

      Other European countries could see the same if they follow suit.

      How do other EU countries compare to Sweden on wind power?

      Global greenhouse gas emissions reached 58 billion tonnes in 2022 - a record high. But renewables have the potential to slash this worrying total.

      Wind energy produces just 0.02 per cent of the CO2 emissions per unit of energy when compared to coal.

      As global energy prices continue to surge - fuelled by Russia's invasion of Ukraine - building clean energy capacity is increasingly urgent.

      Wind power is a particularly good option, as it's not threatened by drought in the way that hydropower is.

      But many European countries are lagging behind.

      In 2021, the EU deployed 34 GW of wind and solar capacity combined. According to Ember's analysis, yearly additions will need to increase if climate targets are to remain within reach. The bloc will need to have a total of 76 GW by 2026 to keep global heating within 1.5 degrees Celsius.

      At predicted rates of deployment, only four out of 27 EU countries (Finland, Croatia, Lithuania and Sweden) will achieve sufficiently high annual increases in wind capacity increases to meet this goal.

      Source: Euronews


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