Stockholm Wants To Ditch Fossil Fuels By 2050
Triple Pundit, February 25, 2016. Image credit: mariannakrarup0
Clean transportation and energy must expand
What is Stockholm doing to achieve its environmental goals? The simple answer is plenty. Transportation is a key element of the city’s plans. Many Stockholm residents drive what Vision 2030 describes as “clean vehicles,” which includes hybrid and electric cars.
The city’s increasing embrace of clean vehicles coincides with Sweden’s goal of having a fossil fuel-free vehicle fleet by 2030. In 2014, 12 percent of Sweden’s vehicle fleet was fossil-free. Alternative fuels will likely play a part in Sweden reaching that goal as the country is pumping money into research and development, including $1.5 million in ethanol.
The city has already reduced emissions with “smart traffic solutions and information technology,” Vision 2030 states. One of those solutions is a congestion tax. Driving into Stockholm’s center during rush hours means paying about $4, Public Radio International reports. Residents who drive past a control point are automatically registered and a bill is sent to the vehicle’s owner. Introduced in 2007, the congestion tax reduced traffic by 20 percent from 2005 levels even though the city’s population is increasing.
Energy needs will have to be met from fossil-fuel free sources, and that means phasing out fossil fuels. Coal from a plant near Stockholm is one source that is used for heating and electricity. The energy company, Fortum Värme, is “striving to gradually replace the coal with biofuels,” the Roadmap for a Fossil Fuel Free Stockholm states. The Roadmap estimates that the coal plant will be decommissioned by 2050.
Although oil for heating is used only in a limited capacity, it will also need to be phased out. About 600 multi-occupancy dwellings and few thousand single-occupancy dwellings now get their heat from oil-fired boilers, according to the Roadmap’s estimates. Over the past 20 years a good portion of the heating oil has been phased out, and it is estimated that it will “probably be phased out by 2050.” Gas is another fossil fuel that is used in a limited capacity as energy in boilers. Biogas can be used to replace gas, which necessitates a big expansion of biogas production.