Finland - Energy Efficiency

An Expert's View about Building Products and Construction in Finland

Posted on: 2 May 2010

To respond to the high energy needs, Finland has developed an energy system with high efficiency and low emissions.

Finland ? energy efficiency Finland's energy needs are high due to the country?s energy-intensive industry, cold climate and long distances. At the same time, Finland?s own energy resources are scarce. To respond to these needs, developing an efficient energy system has for decades been a high priority in the Finnish energy strategy. The versatile energy system utilizes any viable energy form, and the carbon dioxide emissions are among the lowest in the world - even though nuclear power or hydropower do not figure prominently in the system. This has been achieved by planning and constructing the system on a network basis ? including production, transmission, usage and energy reserves and optimizing the whole system in an efficient and environmentally friendly way - from the very beginning. For instance, combined heat and power generation makes it possible to achieve a total efficiency of 80?90 percent, or even higher. Fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions are roughly 30 percent less compared to generating heat and power separately. In 2008, the International Energy Agency (IEA) stated that Finland is the ?model for the world? in combined heat and power generation or co-generation with high efficiency and low emissions. Voluntary efforts to boost energy efficiency From as early as the 1990s, Finland has employed the voluntary agreement scheme in a drive to promote energy efficiency. The practical measures boosted by the agreements, such as energy audits and analyses subsidized by the goverment, provide companies and communities with an excellent means of ascertaining their own energy usage and the scope of improving it, as well as integrating improvements in energy efficiency in their daily operation. The latest energy efficiency agreements for industries, municipal and oil sectors were signed for the period 2008-2016. Additional agreements currently in force are those for goods transport and logistics, public transport and housing sector. The agreemets are under the governance of the related ministries. In Finland, the largest amount of energy is consumed by intensive industrial production. To respond to this challenge, Finnish companies have voluntary invested near EUR400 million in energy efficiency during the period 1998?2008. The agreements will play a central role in the national implementation of the EU Energy Services Directive applying to companies that are not part of the emissions trading scheme. The goal is to make their energy consumption 9 percent more efficient by 2016. Moreover, the agreements are a part of the implementation of the EU climate action and renewable energy package. In homes, improved thermal insulation and innovative home automation systems have decreased energy consumption. For transportation, Finland has created a logistic chain where the specific energy consumption per ton per kilometer is low. World-class technology Research and development work and continuous modernisation of the energy system over the decades have brought also Finnish energy technology up to a world-class standard. The technologies include: *Combined heat and power generation (CHP) or co-generation *District heating and cooling *Automation and environmental measurements *Smart grids and power electronics. In addition to energy technologies, Finland has gained important reputation in several sectors of the environmental business including, for example, energy intensive industrial processes and related automation, water and waste management and recycling. Information sources: Ministry of Employment and the Economy Finnish Energy Industries Motiva
Posted: 02 May 2010

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