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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

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

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