Sweden has closed its coal power plant Värtaverket in Stockholm. That makes Sweden the third country in Europe independent from coal, after Belgium and Austria.

The plant was initially planned to close in 2022 and the first boiler closed last year, but a mild winter made it possible to close the second boiler already in April. Another reason for the early closing of the plant is the changed tax rules, which makes it less profitable to use coal as a heat source. Other countries like France, the UK and Italy also have plans to end their use of coal within the coming years.

Värtaverket, owned by Stockholm Exergi, which in turn is owned by the City of Stockholm and the Finnish energy company Fortum, has been in operation since 1989. The plant is believed to have caused 500,000 tonnes of emissions a year, which is more than all domestic flights in Sweden combined. When the plant was constructed, Stockholm was almost completely dependent on fossil fuels as a source of energy.

The location will now be used for capturing co2 emissions from the burning of biofuels. The new plant will have the capacity to capture the amount of carbon dioxide relative to what all cars in Stockholm emit combined. The plan is to have the new facility up and running by 2024.

Sources: SVT, DN, The Independent

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