Nowadays, energy plays an increasingly important role for every country. Finland is not an exception as the country’s authorities throughout the years are trying to delineate a policy that has as main objectives sustainability and predictability. Therefore, the country’s policy rests on three fundamental elements: energy, economy and the environment. This means that the country is trying to secure energy supply in a competitive price and by keeping the arising environmental emissions within the international commitments. The aforementioned policy is delineated by the fact that Finland has been one of the leading industrialized countries that use extensively renewable energy and especially bio energy.
One of the energy sources that are used in Finland is nuclear power. More than a quarter of electricity consumed in Finland is produced with nuclear power. There are four operative nuclear power plants in Finland, and in February 2005 the government gave a construction license for the fifth nuclear power plant unit. Nuclear power plays a major role in the implementation of the Finnish energy strategy. The reason is that it does not cause any greenhouse gas emissions, thus is friendly to the environment.
As it is already mentioned Finland is one of the world’s leading users of renewable sources of energy and especially bio energy. Renewable energy sources provide 1/4th of Finland’s total energy consumption and account for more than 1/4th of its power generation. The country’s most important renewable sources of energy include bioenergy (wood and wood-based fuels in particular), hydropower, wind power, ground heat and solar energy. Another important renewable source of energy for Finland is peat. With a share of approximately six (6%), it holds a significant position in the national energy balance and has an important impact on regional policy and employment.
Another energy source that plays an important role in Finland is natural Gas. The reason is that it is a secure, green and inexpensive energy source. Currently, the natural gas grid covers the south and southeast of Finland. In this area, natural gas accounts for approximately 30% of the fuel used for combined heat and power generation. A key project in increasing the use of natural gas involves the extension of the natural gas grid to western Finland and a supply of natural gas to the Turku region.
One of the most important structural reforms of the Finnish energy market was made in 1995 when Finland’s electricity market was gradually opened to competition after the passing of the Electricity Market Act (386/1995). The purpose of the electricity market reform was to increase the efficiency of operations and to integrate Finland’s electricity market into the Nordic market. The experiment was successful and the aforementioned actions increased productivity and environmental efficiency, as the Nordic hydropower capacity can now be utilized efficiently.
Finland is cooperating with the other Nordic countries in the domain of energy. The main purpose is to promote efficient and environmentally acceptable energy economy in the Nordic countries, the Baltic Sea region and neighboring areas. The most significant outcome has been the development of the Nordic electricity market. Additionally, Finland participates in some other international organizations for energy such as the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries’ co-operation on energy, the IEA (International Energy Agency) and the NEA (International Energy Agency).
Epicos Newsletter Head Editor