Finland plans 'massive' renewable energy boost

Apr 20, 2010
Finland's government on Tuesday outlined a plan to massively boost renewable energy production to meet European Union requirements on slashing greenhouse gas emissions. "This addition of renewable energy is equivalent in scale to three big nuclear power plants," Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen, pictured in March 2010, said in comments broadcast by YLE.

Finland's government on Tuesday outlined a plan to massively boost renewable energy production to meet European Union requirements on slashing greenhouse gas emissions.

"This addition of renewable energy is equivalent in scale to three big nuclear power plants," Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen said in comments broadcast by YLE.

"In terms of scale, this is a massive solution," Vanhanen said after a ministerial working group on climate and energy policy agreed on the proposal.

Finland's energy mix currently includes nuclear power, and the government is due to decide this month on how many new nuclear reactor permits to allow.

Three utilities have made requests for permits, and the decision will need parliamentary approval.

To meet an EU requirement for raising the share of renewables to 38 percent of by 2020, Finland must increase energy production based on renewables by 38 terawatt hours, the employment and economy ministry said in a statement.

It plans to do so by increasing the use of wood-based energy, , biofuels and heat pumps, with support for renewable energy envisioned at around 327 million euros (439 million dollars) per year in 2020.

The efforts would see Finland's annual cut by seven million tonnes by 2020 while reducing coal use would cut emissions by a further two million tonnes, the statement said.

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