Wood-based energy production in Finland

The most important renewable energy source in Finland are wood-based fuels

In 2016 the share of renewable energy in total energy consumption in Finland was 34 per cent in 2016. Wood-based fuels remained the biggest energy sources in Finland and their share of total energy consumption was 26 per cent.

EU targets for renewable energy are calculated relative to final energy consumption. Calculated in this manner, the share of renewable energy was barely 39 per cent in Finland in 2016 based on preliminary data. Finland's target for the share of renewable energy is 38 per cent of final energy consumption in 2020, and this target was reached for the first time in 2014 according to the EU's statistical office Eurostat.

Energy from forest industry by-products and logging residues

In recent years energy derived from wood-based fuels has accounted for around one fourth of Finland’s total energy consumption. Much of this energy is derived from the by-products of the forest industry, including bark, sawdust and black liquor derived from the pulp-making process. About 40 per cent of the raw material wood brought into pulp and paper mills ends up being used to produce energy at some phase of the production process.

The branches, crowns and stumps of harvested trees cannot be used by industry to produce timber goods or pulp and paper. But they can be chipped to make wood-chip fuels that can then be used to generate carbon-neutral bioenergy. The use of forest chips to create energy in Finland has eightfolded since 2000. Approximately 8.0 million cubic metres of forest chips were used to generate bioenergy in Finland in 2016. Most of this volume (7.6 million m3) was used in heating and power plants, but forest chips are also used to heat many farms and other homes.


Graphs on forest-based energy (Finnish forest association)

Renewable energy sources in Finland 1970-2016 (Statistics Finland)

Energy supply and consumption in Finland (Statistics Finland)




Further information

Kaisa Pirkola, neuvotteleva virkamies 
MMM, Luonnonvaraosasto, Metsä- ja bioenergiayksikkö 0295162350   forename.surname@mmm.fi