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Finland looks to decarbonize with greater share of renewables and nuclear

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Olkiluoto 3, Finland's third nuclear power plant, expected to enter operation in 2016

In a review of Finnish energy policies, the International Energy Agency (IEA) highlights some of the country’s efforts to decarbonize. Renewables and nuclear energy are expected to produce greater share of energy for Finland’s residents and industries.

Finland’s renewable program has an ambitious goal to meet 38 percent of its energy consumption from renewable sources. Over 85 percent of the country is covered by coniferous forests, which means woody biomass such as wood chips will be a significant, in addition to wind.

Contrary to other countries, Finland is looking to increase its share of nuclear-generated electricity with the construction of three additional plants. Electricity generation is currently divided roughly into thirds by renewables, nuclear, and fossil fuels. As part of the country’s Climate and Energy Strategy, the share of nuclear energy will double to nearly 60 percent by 2025. The IEA points to strong central planning by the Finnish government for the success of its nuclear program.

Finland is one bit of positive news for the nuclear industry. Last week, it was announced that two reactors at southern California’s San Onofre’s nuclear plant will not be starting back up, joining plants in Wisconsin and Florida that will be retired.

The IEA Executive Report contains more information about Finland’s energy policy, and can be read here: PDF.

Image: Paivi Bourdon/Areva

David Wogan About the Author: An engineer and policy researcher who writes about energy, technology, and policy - and everything in between. Based in Austin, Texas. Comments? Follow on Twitter @davidwogan.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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  1. 1. sethdayal 1:28 am 06/11/2013

    Burning forest biomass is no longer considered renewable energy.

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  2. 2. dharmpal 10:20 pm 06/11/2013

    it is right an further

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  3. 3. sault 4:29 pm 06/13/2013

    Olkiluoto 3 costs and construction schedule are ballooning out of control just like with the reactors in the 70′s and 80′s that bankrupted the industry:

    “In February 2005, the Finnish cabinet gave its permission to TVO to construct a new nuclear reactor, making Finland the first Western European country in 15 years to order one.[12] The price was estimated as €3.2 billion and construction time as four years.

    The delays have been due to various problems with planning, supervision, and workmanship,[5] and have been the subject of an inquiry by STUK, the Finnish nuclear safety regulator.[24] The first problems that surfaced were irregularities in the foundation concrete, and caused a delay of months. Later, it was found that subcontractors had provided heavy forgings that were not up to project standards and which had to be re-cast. An apparent problem constructing the reactor’s unique double-containment structure also caused delays, as the welders had not been given proper instructions.[24]

    … in December 2012, Areva estimated that the full cost of building the reactor would be about €8.5 billion…”

    It is already 7 years behind schedule and nearly 200% over-budget, but these figures could get even WORSE given the difficulties in building the plant. Just think of all the energy efficiency and renewables Finland could have installed with that money and over that time period!

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  4. 4. dharmpal 9:21 pm 06/14/2013

    if we want to cnstricate our mind we search darkness

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