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Finnish government decides on policies for nuclear power and promotion of renewable energy production

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Finnish government decides on policies for nuclear power and promotion of renewable energy production

April 23, 2010 - 00:12
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HELSINKI, April 21, 2010 (Press Release) -In its cabinet evening session of 21 April 2010, the Finnish Government debated applications submitted for decisions-in-principle on the additional construction of nuclear power. The intention is to bring these applications before the Government for its consideration on 6 May 2010.

The cabinet evening session supported the proposal by Mauri Pekkarinen, Minister of Economic Affairs, as a basis for further preparation. According to this proposal, the Government would make a positive decision-in-principle on the additional construction of nuclear power based on the applications submitted by Teollisuuden Voima Oyj and Fennovoima Oyj. The application by Fortum would be declined. In the same context, a positive decision-in-principle would be made on Posiva's application concerning the management of spent fuel from TVO's project. The corresponding application by Fortum would be met with a negative decision.

- The Government has taken the climate challenge seriously. These policy decisions on energy solutions will see Finland make a dramatic shift in an emission-free direction. They also constitute a strong positive signal to Finnish industry, encouraging it to invest in Finland with confidence, commented Minister Pekkarinen after the cabinet evening session.

- Another historic factor lies in the fact that, after several decades of dependence on imported electricity, these decisions will help Finland become self-sufficient in energy generation. Finland will be able to produce the energy it needs domestically and cleanly, stated Minister Pekkarinen.

The Government's further goals in the electricity market include securing the electricity supply, maintaining electricity prices at reasonable levels, and keeping the environmental impacts of electricity production at an acceptable level.

Renewable energy, energy efficiency and nuclear power as tools for reducing emissions

Additional construction of nuclear power forms one aspect of the energy policy definitions in line with the Government's climate and energy strategy. Other policies resulting in a low-emission, energy self-sufficient and competitive Finland include increasing the use of renewable energy, and enhancing energy conservation and energy efficiency.

On 20 April 2010, the Government's ministerial working group for climate and energy policy agreed on the contents of an extensive package of obligations concerning renewable energy, with the aim of increasing energy production based on renewable forms of energy by a total of 38 TWh of final energy consumption by 2020. This package will promote the use of forest chips and other wood-based energy in particular, alongside wind power, the use of transport bio-fuels, and the increasing utilisation of heat pumps. In doing so it will enable Finland to meet its obligations set by the European Union, to increase the share of renewable energy to 38 per cent of final energy consumption in 2020.

On 4 February 2010, the Government passed a resolution on intensifying the measures taken to enhance energy efficiency over the next few years. The proposed measures are expected to facilitate a total saving of 37 TWh in energy consumption by 2020.