Word-class expertise for renewable energy

Finland's arctic conditions and scarce domestic energy resources have made the country one of the leading users of renewable energy sources in the world.

Today, renewables provide one quarter of Finland’s total energy consumption and account for more than one quarter of its electricity generation. 

The most important renewable sources of energy in Finland include bioenergy – wood and wood-based fuels in particular – as well as hydropower, wind power and ground-source heat.

Based on this extensive use of renewables, Finland has built up a world-class standard expertise in related technology, which, for instance, covers the entire bioenergy chain - from collection of wood-based material to the boilers using biomass.

The roots of this development lie in the forest industry that started to utilize its by-products for producing heat and electricity several decades ago.

For instance, fluidized bed boilers and also other technologies for combined heat and power generation (CHP) or cogeneration have been mainly developed in Finland.

In combined heat and power generation the excess heat is captured and used for heating or cooling purposes. This means that less fuel needs to be consumed to produce the same amount of useful energy.

The plant potentially reaches an efficiency of up to 90 percent compared with 45 percent for the best conventional plants.

Combined heat and power generation is one of the most cost-efficient methods of reducing carbon emissions when the plant is fuelled by local wood-based biomass and the heat is used on site or very close to the plant.

Finnish companies in the forest and energy industries are also currently developing new- generation biofuels from wood-based raw materials as well as third generation biofuels from non-wood and non-food vegetable matter.

Although Finland’s wind power production only accounts for 0.3 percent of Finnish electricity consumption, Finnish wind power technology providers - including turbine, gear and generator manufactures with advanced technologies - are significant players in the markets worldwide.

Typical feature of Finnish wind power technology is the high reliability. Long maintenance cycle also decreases maintenance costs.

Finland has also invested in development work for solar cells, panels and heating systems since 1980s. Today, the Finnish technology is in use worldwide for powering telecom base stations, health centers and schools in remote areas, especially in developing countries.

27 October 2010

Finland identifies energy-smart measures for built environment

Over the next decade, a roadmap for developing regulations on construction and buildings must be charted, and building renovation and repair must be steered by means of regulations. Buildings must also be given an environmental classification, limits must be specified for the growth of urban regions, and a feed-in tariff must be determined for solar energy, says the first comprehensive review of the emissions of the built environment in Finland.

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