Finland - Country Commercial Guide
Renewable Energy

This is a best prospect industry sector for this country.  Includes a market overview and trade data.

Last published date: 2021-09-14

Overview

Finland is one of the world leaders in the utilization of renewable sources of energy, especially bioenergy. The key target in promoting renewable energy is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and move away from an energy system based on fossil fuels. Renewable energy sources already represent about 40 percent of energy end-consumption and the aim set in the National Energy and Climate Strategy to 2030 is to increase such use to more than 50 per cent during the 2020s.  

The use of renewable energy is influenced by Finland’s own energy and climate policies, the obligations and policy decisions under European Union climate and energy legislation, which have the EU committed to achieving climate neutrality by 2050 . These are binding for Finland impacting the market opportunities.

The Government of Finland has set an objective to make Finland carbon-neutral by 2035 and carbon-negative soon after that. The key pillar of Finland’s national climate policy is the Climate Change Act that entered into force on 1 June 2015. The Act also lays down provisions on a climate policy planning system and on monitoring the achievement of climate objectives. The Act is currently under review and is likely to introduce carbon neutrality targets, i.e. a balance between emissions and sinks. Finland’s Climate and Energy Strategy and Medium-term Climate Change Policy Plan will also be updated during 2021.

The most important forms of renewable energy used in Finland are bioenergy; fuels from forest industry side streams and other wood-based fuels, hydropower, wind power and ground heat. Bioenergy is also generated from biodegradable waste and side streams of agriculture and industrial production and from municipal waste. Solar electricity has a growing role especially where on-site energy generation substitutes for energy bought from the grid. Solar heating is used as a supplement to the main heating system.

According to Statistics Finland’s preliminary data for energy, the total consumption of energy in 2020 amounted to 1.28 million terajoules (TJ), which corresponded to a drop of six percent compared to 2019. Although the total electricity consumption fell to its lowest in 20 years, by contrast, renewable production of hydro, wind and solar power increased. The share of renewable energy sources decreased by one percent, but their share of total energy consumption grew to 40 percent. The consumption of renewable energy was higher for the first time than the consumption of fossil fuels and peat combined.

Fingrid, Finland’s grid transmission system operator, is developing Finland’s main grid to provide a platform for a clean, emission-free power system with the flexibility to incorporate multiple resources in terms of frequency, transmission, and voltage management.

Leading Sub-Sectors

Wood-based fuels: Bioenergy has a key role in the production of renewable energy. Bioenergy production is largely integrated into the forestry and forest industry. In recent years, energy derived from wood fuels has accounted for around one fourth of Finland’s total energy consumption. Most wood fuels are by-products of the forest industry, including black liquor derived from the pulp-making process and bark, sawdust and other industrial wood residues. Logging residues and other low value biomass from harvesting operations are also used for energy generation.

In 2020, wood fuels covered 28 percent of total energy consumption and they were the most used energy source.

Hydro power: Emission-free electricity generated by hydropower presented 24 percent of the total share of electricity generation in 2020, an increase of 28 percent compared to the previous year due to good production conditions.

Wind power: Wind power construction in Finland began later than in many other European countries. However, in recent years wind power construction has gained momentum and national construction and production statistics have set new records year after year. At the end of 2019, there were 754 installed wind turbine generators in Finland, with a combined capacity of 2284 MW. They generated 7 percent of Finland’s electricity consumption in 2019. In 2020, wind power production rose by almost 30 percent and its share of electricity production rose by more than ten percent for the first time. Of all electricity, 12 percent was generated by wind power.

Geothermal energy: Geothermal energy (or geoenergy as it often called in Finland) has taken remarkable jumps forward during the last five years. A heat pump boom started with air-coupled heat pumps, which are still popular and remain the most sold. But the trend is shifting more and more to Ground Source Heat Pumps (GSHPs) both in small scale/residential use and in large scale projects. Geoenergy is expected to take an even greater share of the renewable energy palette in the years to come.

Solar: Despite its northern location annual solar heat production in conditions in Finland is only in about 20 percent smaller than that of northern Italy. Annual irradiation levels are in the same magnitude as in Germany. The main technical challenges in Finland are related to intermittency of available solar energy (day-night and summer-winter cycles), particularly in the  Nordic region.

The share of solar power generation in Finland doubled in 2020, but the share is still a modest 0.4% of the nation’s total power generation.

Opportunities

Finnish Wind Power Association: Wind power projects

Fingrid: Power-to-X (P2X) solutions for energy storage

Geothermal Energy: St1 Otaniemi Geothermal Heating Plant Pilot Project

Ecosystems, test platforms and storage systems: Business Finland’s Smart Energy and Batteries from Finland programs, and National Hydrogen Roadmap

TED (Tenders Electronic Daily) online version of ‘Supplement to the Official Journal’ of the EU, dedicated to European public procurement. Finnish energy companies use open tenders as required by European Union (EU) regulations. 

Energia, October 25-27, 2022, in Tampere is the largest biennial energy industry trade event. Focus on energy transition; energy production, power transmission and storage.

EnergyWeek, March 21-24, 2022 in Vaasa focuses on renewable energy, smart energy and gas energy. Focus on digitalization, batteries and storage, circular economy, future smart cities, energy regulation, business and innovation.

Resources

Statistics Finland, Energy 2020

Statistics Finland, Environment and Natural Resources

Information

Interested parties may contact Senior Commercial Specialist mia.maki@trade.gov (local contact)