Sustainability and predictability are characteristic of energy policy objectives. In recent decades, Finland has been among the leading industrialised countries to use renewable energy, bioenergy in particular. Meanwhile, for over twenty years, we have aimed to produce as much electricity as possible through combined heat and power plants (CHP). In this, Finland ranks among the top nations internationally.
We have also managed to establish an exceptionally decentralised and versatile energy system, based on both large and small energy production plants and diverse energy sources. At the same time, Finland has created a strong energy technology cluster, or energy cluster, which is growing in importance. We have thus created the preconditions for internationalisation and greater efficiency among our energy companies.
Finnish energy policy rests on three fundamentals: energy, economy and the environment. Securing energy supply, competitive energy prices and meeting the EU’s common energy and climate goals are core elements. Another key principle is the integration of other forms of sustainable development, and environmental goals, with the energy economy. In addition, energy policy is affected by the prospective price and availability of imported energy and the greater frequency with which decisions are taken at international level.
The energy policy will be based on targets set in Government meetings, and on separate energy policy documents, such as the energy and climate strategies approved by the Government, as well as international conventions.
The National Energy and Climate Strategy, approved by the Government in March 2013, and the programmes supplementing the previous 2008 strategy determine the energy policy lines to be followed. On the other hand, while drafting the Energy and Climate Strategy, account was taken of the principles underlying energy policy. Research results, and statistical sources at international and national level, are used in strategic planning and the sketching of scenarios.
The EU’s role in steering energy policy has increased in recent years. The core framework of Europe’s Energy and Climate Policy is based on decisions taken in December 2008. These include reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 20%, raising the share of renewable energy to an average of one fifth of total consumption (38% for Finland), while improving energy efficiency by 20% by 2020. Finland participates in activities related to oil distribution and the security of supply systems as required by the International Energy Agency IEA, and is bound, through numerous international organisations such as the NEA, IAEA and Euratom, to broad-based cooperation in the fields of nuclear energy and nuclear surveillance.