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
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.
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.
Ministry of Employment and the Economy
Finnish Energy Industries