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27 April 2010

Finland plans 'massive' renewable energy boost

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Finland's government on Tuesday outlined a plan to massively boost renewable energy production to meet European Union requirements on slashing greenhouse gas emissions

"This addition of renewable energy is equivalent in scale to three big nuclear power plants," Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen said in comments broadcast by YLE.

"In terms of scale, this is a massive solution," Vanhanen said after a ministerial working group on climate and energy policy agreed on the proposal.

Finland's energy mix currently includes nuclear power, and the government is due to decide this month on how many new nuclear reactor permits to allow.

Three utilities have made requests for permits, and the decision will need parliamentary approval.

To meet an EU requirement for raising the share of renewables to 38 percent of energy consumption by 2020, Finland must increase energy production based on renewables by 38 terawatt hours, the employment and economy ministry said in a statement.

It plans to do so by increasing the use of wood-based energy, wind power, biofuels and heat pumps, with support for renewable energy envisioned at around 327 million euros (439 million dollars) per year in 2020.

The efforts would see Finland's annual carbon dioxide emissions cut by seven million tonnes by 2020 while reducing coal use would cut emissions by a further two million tonnes, the statement said.


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