Thursday, May 25, 2006

sweden and peak oil

Peak Oil & Sweden: what a small country can do
Reading this article really opened my eyes. When we watched the Cuba film, it was refreshing to see possible actions to an energy crisis actually in practice, but these initiatives were not a government acknowledgement or response to the imminent Peak oil, but a reaction to Cuba’s micro energy crisis. The acknowledgement by the government of Sweden that peak oil will occur, soon enough definitely gave me some hope. I was convinced that every government was going to follow the United States’ lead and ignore and avoid the peak oil issue. Thank something that Sweden isn’t.
They identified six measures towards becoming energy sustainable. The first measure was to broaden and increase their use of renewable sources of energy. Sweden hardly oil dependent for its energy demands, according to the article, their energy is generated half by nuclear power and half by hydropower. This is a good start, but Uranium, which is refined and used for generate nuclear power, is a finite resource, maintaining nuclear plants is costly and storing the spent nuclear fuel is risky. Development in the alternative renewable sources of energy is necessary for the least oil dependent countries too.
The next measure is to focus this development and increased use of alternative renewable sources of energy on wind power. This sounds harmless but what kind of impact will many wind mills have on migratory birds?
The third measure is to make Sweden heating sustainable, instead of using oil, which is pretty widespread throughout the country. Heating is an especially necessary consumption of energy for Sweden, because they are at a very high latitude, with really long winters. Heating is not a luxury in Sweden, it’s essential.
The fourth measure was to become energy sustainable concerning cars. The fuel for transportation issue is not exclusive to Sweden, its relevant all around the world. Sweden hopes to become transportation sustainable using a combination of converting cars to ethanol and biofuels. Brazil has proven that ethanol is a very feasible alternative to petrol, most if not all their cars have been converted to that system already.

4 Comments:

Blogger Juggleandhope said...

Eugenia,

I also had that feeling of reassurance that at least one nation is taking peak oil as an important reality.

Your post was mostly summary - I would have enjoyed reading more analysis.

11:03 AM  
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