It had been five years since the last IEA country report. In his speech at the energy event, Kimmo Tiilikainen, the Finnish minister in charge of energy issues, stated that Finland will consider the IEA’s recommendations when forming its energy policy. The work to implement the recommendations of the new report has already started.
Requested by the Finnish Government, the country report lists means that Finland can use to reduce its emission load. The report also includes reference data from other countries. Focus areas of the report are reducing traffic emissions and the opportunities offered by the bioeconomy. Moreover, it reviews the opportunities offered by combined heat and power production (CHP). A traditionally popular energy production method in Finland, CHP is in trouble, because the low market price of electricity has made many of the CHP plants unprofitable.
Energy and climate hand in hand
The Finnish Government has set as its goal an 80% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from the level of 1990 by 2050. This goal is based on the well-known Paris Agreement to which Finland has also committed. The share of renewable energy sources will be increased to 50%, self-sufficiency will be increased, and the consumption of oil will be decreased. Coal will become a banned energy source. The plan is to retain the current total energy consumption level.
Emissions come from many sources, such as the production of electricity and heat, traffic, industry, and agriculture. The production of electricity is already relatively emission-free in Finland, but plenty of work is still needed before there are zero emissions from the production of heat and traffic.
The plan is to reduce emissions from traffic using a variety of means, such as by renewing the motor pool, by promoting energy efficiency, and by using electric and gas-powered cars. Biofuels will also play a role in the change.
Low carbon can be achieved by many means
The IEA advises Finland to guide its energy policy towards low carbon using several means. Keeping the policy persistent and predictable is the key. It is absolutely necessary to ensure that companies will dare to make investments.
The policy on the taxation of fuels and related subsidies must be proportioned with the fuel emissions. The IEA specifically mentions CHP and traffic.
In the case of traffic, the IEA advises Finland to increase its emission reduction goal and encourage people to switch to newer cars.
“The Finnish Government has set as its goal an 80% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.”
The IEA recommends cooperation in the energy industry with the other Nordic countries and Baltic states. In fact, such cooperation is absolutely necessary, because the energy policies of these countries influence each other through the shared electricity market.
“Keeping in mind all the work that has already been done in the energy sector is important. Emissions have been reduced by one-third during the past ten years, which is a major change. Right now, Finland is preparing its climate plan for the European Commission. Finland will take on the presidency of the European Union next year, and energy and climate issues will surely be discussed,” Tiilikainen commented on the IEA’s recommendations.
The IEA country report is available at bit.ly/FinEnergy