An investment in a fossil-free future
Our society is undergoing rapid electrification and digitalization. In the next few years, we will be seeing even more electric cars, robots and connected products around us as we make the switch to a fossil-free society. Consequently, we will be requiring more electricity – far more than what we currently produce. Perhaps more than ever, we also need a balanced electricity system that guarantees access to stable, intermittent and fossil-free electricity.
We need all to utilize all fossil-free power sources – today and tomorrow
For society to function at all hours of the day, the electricity supply must be stable throughout the country. In this regard, Sweden has been a global role model. For the past 40 years, our electricity system has been stable and virtually fossil-free, thanks to hydro and nuclear power. The electricity system has laid the foundations for Swedish welfare and industrial competitiveness.
With the help of government subsidies, the percentage of wind power has increased in the Swedish electricity mix. There are many advantages to wind power. Its propellant is free and its operation fossil-free, but it is subject to the wind blowing. The wind power system also lacks features that can strengthen the electricity grid and stabilize electricity distribution. What hydro and nuclear power can offer, thanks to its large turbines and generators.
However, it is not a matter of which power source we should choose. Sweden will need more electricity within the near future, to achieve its climate goals and a stable electricity supply. Therefore, both weather-dependent and dispatchable electricity generation will be needed. A fossil-free mix that works – in terms of technology and the economy. A mix that can create a stable and secure whole that is balanced 365 days a year.
Nuclear power – a resource-smart way to achieve stability and climate goals
By continuing to maintain our nuclear power plants and replacing components, they can continue to deliver stable and fossil-free electricity for decades to come.
Continuing to use the resources we have in this manner, and to leverage the major investments that have hitherto been made, is both resource-efficient and climate-smart. It is both an economically sound and a climate-smart alternative to replace components and implement safety updates to keep nuclear power plants upgraded to allow for the capacity to continue producing stable and fossil-free electricity in the future. One example is Oskarshamn 3 – Sweden’s largest and youngest reactor. Thanks to a number of upgrades, O3 can now produce electricity until 2045. With additional investments, the reactor could possibly produce fossil-free electricity for a further 20 years. This will be needed for Swedish society and industry to function.
Investing in a future that will require more fossil-free electricity
We will require more fossil-free electricity and a balanced electricity system in the future, with the capacity to deliver the requisite electricity regardless of where in the country it may be needed. Investing in the nuclear power reactors that we already have is a resource-smart way to achieve both. By thinking ahead today, we are creating conducive conditions for a fossil-free future, where society and commerce can continue to develop.
We ensure that the electricity system remains stable
As part of the global Uniper Group, we are a major electricity and power producer for Swedish base industry and a guarantor of stable and reliable electricity generation. We have power plants throughout the country for fossil-free hydro and nuclear power, as well as the Nordic region’s greatest peak power and reserve power. Uniper’s electricity is used to ensure that our society and industries function, regardless of the weather and time of year. In terms of hydropower, we’re the third-largest producer in Sweden. Our 76 wholly and jointly owned hydropower plants, distributed from Lycksele in the North to Kristianstad in the South, account for approximately 12% of Sweden’s total hydropower production. The Uniper Group is a co-owner of all three of Sweden’s active nuclear power plants.
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Nuclear power plays an important role in stabilizing Sweden’s electricity generation. Uniper takes total responsibility for our participation in Swedish nuclear power.
In line with the global climate goals, the Swedish parliament has decided that Sweden will have net zero emissions of carbon dioxide by 2045. For Sweden to achieve this goal, the electricity system must be developed at a rapid pace.
Although renewable power sources are increasing rapidly, they will not be capable of replacing current production in its entirety. Therefore, it is time we begin looking into how to complement and eventually replace current nuclear power with new nuclear power systems. What will nuclear power of the future look like?