Sweden To Become The World’s First Fossil Fuel-Free Nation In History

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From this article featured on Collective Evolution Collective Evolution.

The Swedish government recently announced that their aim is to become one of the world’s first nations to end its dependence on fossil fuels. They will be investing an extra 4.5 billion kronor (US$546 million) into renewable energy and climate change action in their 2016 budget.(source)

Not long ago, UBS, the world’s largest private bank, began urging its investors to join the clean, renewable energy movement. Their analysts are predicting that power plants in Europe might become completely extinct within the next 10 to 20 years, and it seems they are correct. The dream of a ‘nuclear free’ Europe might become a reality sooner than expected, which explains why trillions of dollars are being divested from old ways of generating energy into more renewable sources. (source)

“Sweden will become one of the first fossil-free welfare states in the world.” – Prime Minister Stefan Löfven (source)

Considering that they already get two-thirds of their electricity from non-fossil fuel energy sources, this is great news. The government also announced that it will be spending money on smart grids, renewable energy storage technology, an electric bus fleet, subsidies for green cars, and climate adaptation strategies. They will also be renovating residential buildings to make them more energy efficient.

“2015 is our opportunity, a chance to, in dialogue with all the countries of the world, change course towards a new development path where we can succeed in generating welfare for all, not at the planet’s cost but in cooperation with it.” – Johan Rockström, one of the Prime Minister’s key advisors (source)

Sweden is just one of many nations around the world that is getting behind renewable energy. Hawaii, for example, recently announced its plans to become the first US state completely powered by renewable energy. Earlier this year, Costa Rica was powered with 100 percent renewable energy for 75 days, and Denmark successfully produced 140 percent of its electricity demand from wind power alone during the month of July.

The solutions are plentiful, and as we are now seeing, can be implemented and utilized for the greater good. We’ve known about and possessed this technology for decades, why is it that this process (which is so desperately needed) is taking so long?

Silent Rooftop Wind Turbines Could Generate Half Of A Household’s Energy Needs

Small wind turbines scaled to the right size for residential and urban areas have so far lived in the shadows of their larger wind-farm-sized counterparts. The power output has been too low for a reasonable return on investment through energy savings and the noise they produce is louder than most homeowners can deal with.

A Dutch renewable energy start-up called The Archimedes is working to solve both of those problems in a new class of small-scale wind turbine — one that is almost silent and is far more efficient at converting wind into energy. The company states that the Liam F1 turbine could generate 1,500 kWh of energy per year at wind speeds of 5m/s, enough to cover half of an average household’s energy use.

When used in combination with rooftop solar panels, a house could run off grid. “When there is wind you use the energy produced by the wind turbine; when the sun is shining you use the solar cells to produce the energy,” The ArchimedesCEO Richard Ruijtenbeek said.

The Liam’s blades are shaped like a Nautilus shell. The design allows it to point into the wind to capture the most amount of energy, while also producing very little sound. The inventor of the turbine Marinus Mieremet says that the power output is 80 percent of the theoretical maximum energy that could be harnessed from the wind.

“Generally speaking, there is a difference in pressure in front and behind of the rotor blades of a windmill. However, this is not the case with the Liam F1. The difference in pressure is created by the spatial figure in the spiral blade. This results in a much better performance. Even when the wind is blowing at an angle of 60 degrees into the rotor, it will start to spin. We do not require expensive software: because of its conical shape, the wind turbine yaws itself automatically into the optimal wind direction. Just like a wind vane. And because the wind turbine encounters minimal resistance, he is virtually silent,” said Mieremet.

The company is also working on even smaller wind turbine designs that could fit on LED lampposts to power them, on boats or in smaller bodies of water.

You can watch a video about the history of the Liam turbine from invention to field tests below.

by Megan Treacy / via TreeHugger