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FFIF says Finnish government's nuclear power proposal safeguards renewable energy production

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FFIF says Finnish government's nuclear power proposal safeguards renewable energy production

April 22, 2010 - 20:36
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HELSINKI, April 23, 2010 (Press Release) -The Government proposal on nuclear power improves the forest industry's operating conditions in Finland. When increasing the share of bioenergy, it is extremely important to safeguard the forest industry's raw material supply.

"The Government's stance on the building of more nuclear power will, when implemented, lead to an improvement in the forest industry's operating and investment prerequisites in Finland. Building more nuclear power provides the forest industry with the ingredients for developing diverse processing operations and increasing the utilisation of forest energy," says Finnish Forest Industries Federation Chairman and President & CEO of the Metsäliitto Group Kari Jordan.

The production volumes and electricity consumption of the forest industry's competitive units will grow over the long term in spite of the ongoing structural change. Forest industry corporations estimate that they will require 27-28 terawatt-hours of electricity in 2020, i.e. as much as they consumed before the onset of the recession.

The forest industry's grid electricity need will also grow in the future because increasing the value-added input and the manufacture of new products will lead to a rise in electricity consumption. If 3-5 biorefineries are built in Finland, they will together consume 1.5-2.5 terawatt-hours of grid electricity annually.

"It is extremely important that the forest industry's raw material supply is safeguarded in the follow-up drafting of bioenergy subsidy decisions as promised by the Government. Subsidies must not steer processable wood into combustion," Chairman Jordan underlines.

As more wood is processed, the amount of forest biomass going into energy use will also increase. The most cost-effective way to promote Finnish renewable energy production is to look after the development of the forest industry's manufacturing operations.

The forest-based sector produces 70% of Finland's renewable energy. The forest industry invested over a billion euros into renewable energy production following the previous decision to build more nuclear power. This has tripled the use of forest energy.