Most of Finland’s renewable energy is bioenergy
Renewable energy sources mean wood-based fuels, other fuels of plant or animal origin, biogas, biodegradable fractions of fuels derived from recycling or wastes, hydropower, windpower, solar energy and geothermal heat.
In 2017 renewable energy represented 36% of gross energy consumption in Finland. In the EU the targets for renewable energy are established in relation to energy end-consumption, in which case the share of renewable energy in Finland is 3 to 5 percentage units higher than when calculated from gross energy consumption.
The EU target set for Finland by 2020 is that 38% of energy end-consumption should be produced from renewable sources, but in 2017 this share was already as high as 40%. The national target set in the Government Programme and the Energy and Climate Strategy published in 2016 is that the share of renewable energy rises to more than 50% during the 2020s.
Wood-based fuels the main source of bioenergy in Finland
In Finland bioenergy has a key role in the production of renewable energy, while wood-based fuels are the main source of bioenergy. Wood-based fuels are also our largest energy source with a larger share in gross energy consumption than oil or coal. In 2017 wood-based fuels represented 27% of Finland’s gross energy consumption.
We also have a long history in using side streams from wood processing industry - black liquor, bark and sawdust - for energy production. In recent years the use of forest chips for energy has been growing as well, and Finnish households use significant amounts of wood and pellets as fuel. Many wood products and wooden structures can be used for energy at the end of their lifecycle.
Dry arable biomasses with high cellulose content - reed canary grass, straw and cereal residues - can be burned as such or mixed with other fuels. Animal manure can also be used for energy e.g. by gasifying it into biogas. Biogas can be produced from various kinds of biomasses by digestion in anaerobic conditions. The biodegradable fractions of fuels from recycled and waste material are also classified as bioenergy: e.g. waste oil from fish processing and food industry leftovers can be processed into energy. All this means that bioenergy can be produced from various types of biomass and by using many different techniques.
Renewable energy targets set in the National Energy and Climate Strategy
The targets and means for increasing the share of renewable energy are specified in the national strategies concerning climate and energy issues. The latest Energy and Climate Strategy was adopted in November 2016. The Medium-term Climate Change Plan published in September 2017 applies to the non-emissions trading sector, i.e. transport, heating of individual buildings, waste management and agriculture.