Earlier this week, the Finnish government outlined a plan to meet its European Union obligations of raising the share of renewables to 38% of energy consumption by 2020. The government foresees providing support of around €327 million per year in 2020 to increase the use of renewables, including heat pumps.
The government's ministerial working group for climate and energy policy agreed on a package of measures to promote renewable energy. The agreement came one day ahead of government discussions on the construction of two more commercial nuclear reactors. The programme to promote the use of renewable sources of energy was part of the bargain agreed by government parties - a so-called “twig package”.
Nonetheless, "this addition of renewable energy is equivalent in scale to three big nuclear power plants," Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen said. The aim of the measures is to increase energy production based on renewable forms of energy by a total of 38 TWh of final energy consumption by 2020. "In terms of scale, this is a massive solution," Vanhanen said after the ministerial working group reached an agreement on the proposal.
327 million euros support per year in 2020 for renewables
The package aims to deliver Finland's EU obligations to increase the share of renewables in its energy mix from the current level of 25% to 38% by 2020, as prescribed by the EU Renewable Energy Directive.
With support for renewable energy envisioned at around 327 million euros per year in 2020 which would come on top of investment subsidies, amounting to around €100 million per year, Finland plans to increase the use of:
- wood-based energy
- wind power
- heat pumps
To the liking of large forest companies, the lion's share (55%) of the required increase would come from wood, with the rest coming from increasing the use of heat pumps, wind energy and biofuels in transport. The package of measures, which will encompass tax breaks, will run until 2020.