Minister Mykkänen: Excellent opportunities for Finland to become major player in clean energy
During the autumn, the Government will launch a number of projects to boost the energy transition. The aim is to attract investments to Finland that reduce emissions and turn Finland into a leader in terms of clean energy and a positive climate handprint.
The key factors for clean energy projects include the access to and price of clean electricity, streamlined permit procedures and good transmission connections.
“Finland has excellent opportunities to become one of the major players in clean energy and proceed towards carbon negativity. We are seeking a competitive advantage by strengthening RDI funding, streamlining permit procedures and developing the energy transmission infrastructure,” Minister of Climate and the Environment Kai Mykkänen says.
Electricity production doubled to achieve growth in clean industry
“Our aim is to double domestic electricity production, which is a prerequisite for the growth of clean industry. It is most important to ensure a reliable supply in the energy market as the share of fluctuating renewable energy is growing. We will promote investments in solar and wind power, which have great potential as forms of energy of the future,” Mykkänen says.
“We also want to build more nuclear power in Finland. We need more basic power production with a reliable supply for the needs of our increasingly electrified society and industry. The Government will speed up the process to reform the Nuclear Energy Act and is committed to approving applications for authorisation in principle that meet all criteria and where the background of the applicant is acceptable in terms of our national security,” the Minister says.
Wind power on land continues to be built in Finland on market terms and quite fast. By the end of June there were 1,468 wind turbines in Finland, with a total nominal power output of more than 6,000 megawatts. By the end of the year this capacity is expected to rise to about 7,200 megawatts.
An ambitious target will be set for offshore wind power capacity by 2035, which will also create a competitive advantage for Finland in relation to other countries in the Baltic Sea region. Relating to this, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment has started a process to prepare rules for offshore wind power projects. At the moment the rules are inadequate, and there is no legislative framework for the exclusive economic zone.
The measures of the Ministry of the Environment to promote the targets with respect to wind power on land and at sea set in the Government Programme include grants, studies and updates to the guidelines. The studies will produce more information on how the legislation regulating wind power should be amended. The aim of the studies and guidelines is to facilitate wind power construction to ensure that the most suitable areas for this can be found.
Investments in solar power will be promoted as well, and a guide is being prepared to support the planning and construction of solar power stations. Planning and permits concerning construction will be used to coordinate solar power construction with the needs of other land use and the environment.
Influencing EU climate and energy policy
Among the topical matters during at the very start of the Government term is the national implementation of several legislative acts of the EU concerning energy and climate. One of these is the Emissions Trading Act that will be submitted to Parliament in the beginning of October. The scope of the Act will be extended to also cover maritime transport, in addiction to large industrial and energy plants. The emissions trading scheme applicable to aviation will be stepped up as well. The amendments are based on the reform of the Emissions Trading Directive and the need to respond to the more ambitious emission reduction targets of the EU.
“In the EU policy we also aim for solutions that will consistently promote investments in clean energy and its growth. At the same time the Government will actively influence the preparation of new EU legislation and the Work Programme of the new Commission to be appointed in 2024,” Minister Mykkänen says.
Streamlined permit procedures secure stable operating environment for companies
In August the Ministry of the Environment launched a project on the one-stop shop model for services that aims to streamline the permit procedures. At the moment permit procedures are pending for investment in the green transition worth billions of euros.
In a one-stop model involving just one authority access to services and application for permits would take place through one and the same channel in a way that is well-functioning and user-friendly. The aim is that, as a rule, the combined permit procedure will lead to one single official decision and request for review procedure. The one-stop shop model may reduce the need to request additional information and supplement the applications and help companies carry out their investments on schedule.
“A stable environment is one of our most important competitive advantages through which we can attract clean investments and create new jobs in Finland,” Mykkänen says.
Opportunities for Finland to lead the way in carbon capture
One of the priorities of the Government’s climate policy is even faster development of solutions that reduce emissions and capture carbon in industry and energy production. Forest industry, a high level of expertise in technology and the energy use of biomass create opportunities for Finland to lead the way in the capture and utilisation of carbon dioxide.
A study has been launched concerning the use of incentives to promote carbon capture. Carbon dioxide capture, use and storage technologies offer significant opportunities for Finland when it comes to both achieving the carbon neutrality target and creating new business.
Technological sinks mean carbon removal solutions based on technologies, such as bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS), direct air carbon capture and storage (DACCS) and biochar.
The Government will review the Carbon Neutrality Strategy in connection with drawing up the new Climate and Energy Strategy. The Government will continuously maintain a situation picture and assessment of actions that are sufficient to meet Finland’s emission reduction targets and obligations. The work to update the low-carbon roadmaps for different sectors will start in September.
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