Sweden's power grid under pressure: only one solution?
In Sweden, where another nuclear reactor was shut down at the turn of the year, winter temperatures have led to shortfalls in the electricity supply. The country has been compelled to import electricity from coal-fired power stations in Poland and Germany and electricity rates have risen significantly. Alarm bells are ringing in the Swedish press - and advocates of nuclear power are speaking out.
Energy saving alone won't do the trick
Svenska Dagbladet criticises Sweden's national public broadcaster Sveriges Television (SVT), which has called on citizens to save electricity in the name of climate protection:
“It's interesting that SVT hasn't even mentioned the fact that nuclear decomissioning has meant that electricity no longer gets to where it is needed, and that we're therefore dependent on CO2-intensive electricity from Central Europe. Nothing is being said about political responsibility, and all we're told is that if we all pitch in and save electricity when vacuuming, showering and boiling water, that should do the trick. ... We've shut down green, inexpensive electricity and must now replace it with expensive, dirty power. ... The fact that our largest publicly-financed media, which is supposed to act in the public interest, hasn't critically examined the situation is beyond belief.”
Nuclear power still indispensable
Expressen sees Germany as a cautionary example for Sweden:
“The IEA [International Energy Agency] recently explained that phasing out the existing nuclear power plants will make it impossible to meet the climate targets. The Germans should listen to this, restart their reactors and preferably build new ones. ... Like the Germans, we Swedes have a large and proud export industry that needs a predictable power supply. Also like the Germans, we took the rash decision to phase out nuclear power - even though the switch to fossil-free fuel requires more energy than ever before. As a consequence, this week we had to import German lignite. In the future it could be Russian gas, even if only indirectly. This is madness from the point of view of energy policy and astoundingly reckless from a security policy perspective.”