Sweden celebrated the closure of its last coal plant this month and even did so two years ahead of schedule. Swedish utility company Stockholm Exergi announced the closure of the KVV6 plant on April 16.
The plant first opened in 1989 and was projected to be in use until 2022, but after the plant was left unused during Sweden’s mild winter this year, the decision was made to close its doors early. This closure will reduce the utility’s emissions by 400 thousand tonnes (approximately 441 thousand U.S. tons) per year.
This brings the number of coal-free countries in Europe to three. Belgium became the first in 2016 and Austria closed its last coal plant this week as well. Even Germany, the world’s largest producer of brown lignite coal, has reached an agreement to go coal-free by 2038.
Sweden has pledged to achieve carbon neutrality by 2040 and plans to pursue carbon-negative initiatives to counteract global emissions. As renewables prove to be an environmentally-friendly and economically viable alternative to fossil fuels, more countries are moving away from coal towards a greener future. Hopefully, Sweden’s robust energy revolution will inspire other countries to follow suit with more ambitious renewable energy investments.