The renewable energy capacity in Scandinavia countries has been growing steadily during the past ten years, although each country depends on a different source. Denmark relies on wind energy and biofuels, Norway on hydropower, and Sweden on biofuels.
“The Nordic region has for the front year an expected oversupply of power of nearly 30 terawatt-hours a year under average weather conditions” Olav Johan Botnen
2030 and 2050 target
Renewable energy is available in such large quantities in Scandinavia that it has even become a new attractive destination for crypto mining and energy-intensive heavy industry, such as “green steel.” The current national greenhouse gas (GHG) targets for 2030 and 2050 for each country are:
Denmark has seen a gradual decrease in the use of oil and coal since 1990 as shown in Figure 1. With the decrease in the consumption of fossil fuel-based sources, the rise of renewable energy, especially from wind, solar, and biofuels was observed. The wind power covered around 40 % of the country’s total electricity consumption during the last five years. In 2020, the energy supply from Biofuels is just about, 30275 TJ less than oil. With this huge amount of investment in biofuels compared to other renewable sources, it is responsible for supplying three-quarters of the renewable energy supply.
Norway tops the league when it comes to producing renewable capacity among the Scandinavia countries. As shown in Figure 2, hydropower is the main renewable energy source as another form of renewable sources, such as solar and wind power production is significantly lower. The data, recorded every five years since 1990 shows the average production of hydropower in the country remained highest except in 2005 and 2010. Since then, oil production has decreased gradually, being replaced with hydro, biofuels, solar, and wind.
An abundance of hydropower available means Norway exports huge volumes to the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, and Finland. In 2020, Norway exported Finland’s 20% of power consumption.
Sweden has widely accepted biofuels as its main source of renewable energy. Production has increased gradually in the last decade, as shown in Figure 3. In addition, hydro and wind power production has also increased. In 2020, although biofuels make up the majority of energy sources, the share of oil is seen increasing since 2015. According to this article, one Swedish power plant increased its oil consumption drastically in 2021, most of them going to electricity production.
Comparing with Iceland
Iceland has a target of 40% GHG reduction by 2030 and climate neutrality by 2050. It’s largest source of energy comes from wind, solar and geothermal, as shown in Figure 4. In 2018, renewable energy supply accounted for 92%, of which 85% came from geothermal. Iceland produces 100 % of its electricity from renewable sources, with hydropower accounting for 70 % and geothermal for the remaining 30 %. Currently, the discussion is going on about an electricity cable connecting the UK and Iceland, which would help the UK receive clean electricity from Iceland.
With the amount of energy production from renewable sources, Iceland has also listed its name in the list of green places for crypto mining. According to the Icelandic Blockchain Foundation, 8% of all Bitcoins have been mined in the country.
Renewable energy in 2020
Looking at renewable energy in 2020, as shown in Figure 5, although their sources come from different renewable energies that fit best for their country, the ‘Greener’ standards set by Scandinavia countries can be a great example for many countries who are behind their target.