Wednesday, June 1, 2005

Sweden shuts nuclear plant in a shift to wind power

In 1980 Sweden voted, in a referendum, to shut down their nuclear power plants in favor of renewable resources. They are apparently doing this in an orderly fashion, arranging for replacement power before shutting down the nuclear power. Hence, it's taken 25 years to get the ball rolling.

Sweden shuts nuclear plant in shift to wind Voters backed move in 1980, before global warming became factor

The Barseback-2 nuclear reactor was Sweden's oldest, accounting for three percent of the country's total electricity output. Nuclear power provides 40 percent of Sweden's electricity.

The closure is part of nuclear phase-out program backed in a referendum in 1980. The first reactor at Barseback closed in 1999.

... Longer term, Sweden is planning a big increase in renewable energy. State-owned Vattenfall, which operates Barseback, said it would invest $1 billion in building northern Europe’s biggest wind farm.

Vattenfall said it hoped to begin construction of 100-150 wind power turbines in 2009, generating more than 2 terawatt hours of electricity per year from 2010.

Barseback produced around 4 terawatt hours out of Sweden’s total 148 in 2004.

It also plans to invest $218 million to build an offshore wind power park in the Oresund sound near the bridge between southern Sweden and Denmark.

However, some in the industry don't feel wind will be as reliable as nuclear power since power can fluctuate depending on the weather.


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