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.

The key target in promoting renewable energy in Finland is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and move away from the energy system that is based on fossil fuels. Use of renewable energy also improves our energy self-sufficiency and employment and supports the development of technologies in the sector.

In Finland renewable energy sources represent about 40 per cent of gross energy consumption

In 2020 renewable energy represented 40 per cent 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 was that 38 per cent of energy end-consumption should be produced from renewable sources, but in 2019 this share was already as high as 43 per cent. 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 per cent during the 2020s.

Wood-based fuels are 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 2020 wood-based fuels represented 28 per cent 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.

Related topics

Wood based energy

Related links

Share of the renewable energy in 2020 in Finland (Statistics Finland)
Renewable energy statistics (Eurostat)
Energy and climate strategy (Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment of Finland)

Further information

Kaisa Pirkola, Ministerial Adviser 
Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Natural Resources Department, Unit for Forests and Bioenergy 0295162350