Finland is number two in Europe in utilization of renewable energy. The binding goal for 2020 (38% of gross final energy consumption) was exceeded
already in 2014, and the 2017 figure is likely to be the highest ever. Finland's success with renewable energy largely relies on its extensive use of bioenergy.
Finnish bioenergy is based on utilization of sidestreams of forest management, such as harvest residues and thinnings, and sidestreams of forest industry, such as black liquor, chips, sawdust and bark. The amount of energy wood taken directly out of the forest is only around 11-12% of the total harvest, while the rest flows to industrial use. The use of bioenergy increased by 125% between 1990 and 2016, while the carbon sink almost doubled. This has contributed to a strong decline in GHG emissions of 45% when all sectors of the economy are taken into account. The respective average figure in EU-28 is below 30%.
Plans to continue further expansion of renewable energy and bioenergy have been laid out as part of an effort to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045. The private sector is strongly committed to efforts towards this goal. During the last few months, several new bioenergy plants have started operation. Metsägroup's new Äänekoski bioproduct mill increases Finland's renewable energy use by 2% alone. In Naantali, a new CHP plant was inaugurated in December 2017 utilizing up to 70% bioenergy and reducing CO2 emissions by 0.42Mt. In October 2017, Fortum replaced light fuel oil in one of its heat plants in Espoo with biobased pyrolysis oil. In December 2017, the local energy utility in Tampere informed it will apply for an environmental permit for a 200-240 MWth CHP plant retrofit utilising bioenergy up to 100%. In January 2018, the local energy utility in Oulu announced a plan to modernise its CHP plant (new capacity: 215 MWth) to use
up to 70% bioenergy (currently: 40%). In February 2018, the energy utility in Helsinki (Helen) opened a 92 MWth heat-only pellet plant, which replaces coal in energy supply. Only a few kilometers north, the local energy company of Vantaa is retrofitting a CHP plant in Martinlaakso to use more bioenergy and cut fossil fuel use by 34% (0.15 MtCO2).
Several investments into production of transport biofuels are also in the pipeline. Sunshine Kaidi has been considering a large investment in production of renewable diesel and biogasoline in Kemi since 2016. The new REDII Directive will play a significant role in the final investment decision. In eastern Finland, in Lieksa, a plan to produce bio-oils is progressing. In Haapavesi, Kanteleen Voima Oy is preparing a new biorefinery producing ethanol that is going to be integrated in an existing, but mothballed condensing power
plant. In February 2018, the forest industry giant UPM announced a new plan – even larger than Sunshine Kaidi's – to expand its biofuel production by 0.5 million tonnes in Kotka.
Harri Laurikka / CEO, Dr. Tech.
Bioenergy Association of Finland
Kaisaniemenkatu 4 A
Tel: +358 40 1630 465