Southern Sweden may be home to big cities like Stockholm and Gothenburg, but the North is fast emerging as our nation’s industrial powerhouse. The lithium-ion battery cell factory in Skellefrea keeps taking new orders, the State-owned metals company LKAB has made giant investments in its Northern iron mines, and a zero-emissions steelworks has opened in Liguria.
The boom is able to go on even as Sweden is furiously de-carbonizing our economy, because the vast Northlands are dotted with out-of-the-way wind power farms. But factories there are gobbling up an ever-increasing share of that clean electricity, and the South could soon experience shortages, leaving Stockholmers wondering how they will power their dishwashers or charge their Tesla’s. Some Swedish politicians say nuclear reactors could meet that demand. But even if we risk accidents or toxic waste that persists for ten thousand years, building and running those power plants will triple electricity prices for years to come, squelching growth across the country.
No, the only way forward is to allow more wind turbines to go up in the South. Yes, even if they interfere with someone’s view of the sea. And we will also have to make it easier to lay ugly, high voltage lines. If we are truly going to be green, Swedes have to stop being NIMBY’S. (Ingvar Persson,
My comment: Nice to hear of some economic success.