Today, Sweden is celebrating the Feast of Saint Lucia. It is a festival of light which brightens up the winter darkness. But elsewhere, where it’s not quite so dark, two Swedish embassies are illuminating the way with sustainable energy from another celestial body, namely the sun.
The Swedish embassies in Riyadh and New Delhi have installed solar panels to increase the proportion of their overall energy use from renewables.
In Riyadh, the Embassy is now using 100 per cent fossil-free energy thanks to newly installed solar panels on its buildings. This cuts its emissions by the equivalent of 540 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.
And in New Delhi, the Embassy has installed 600 square metres of solar panels since 2011. So far, these have produced more than 52 megawatts of electricity, and cut carbon dioxide emissions by 265 tonnes. The panels currently produce 12 per cent of the energy used by the Embassy. The plan is to add 150 square metres annually from 2018.
In both cases, Swedish companies have helped with the installation of the panels, which have attracted a lot of interest locally.
Access to modern, renewable energy and clean fuel is fundamental to addressing several of the challenges currently facing the world. Sweden is pursuing this issue at many different levels, both nationally and internationally. Our embassies are playing an important role in this work by engaging in dialogue with representatives in their host countries and employing clear environmental dimensions (for example environmental technology) in their development cooperation and promotion.
This case relates to Global Goal 7: Affordable and clean energy.
Happy Saint Lucia’s Day, by the way!