Electricity sector in Finland
The electricity sector in Finland relies on nuclear power, forest industry black liquor and wood consumption, cogeneration and electricity import from neighboring countries. In 2008 the consumption of electricity in Finland was 17 036 kWh/person. The European union (15) average was 7 409 kWh/person. According to the Finnish Minister of Finance Jyrki Katainen the consumption of electricity will increase in Finland after 2010. Co-generation of heat and electricity for industry process heat and district heating is common in Finland.
Consumption and import
Industry was the majority consumer of electricity between 1990 and 2005 with 52-54% of total consumption. The forest industry alone consumed 30-32%.
Between 2000 and 2006, up to 7 TWh per year was imported from Sweden and up to 11.5 TWh from Russia. Net imports during this time varied between 7 TWh to Sweden and 7 TWh from Sweden, and 4 to 11 TWh from Russia. Since 2007, some electricity has also been imported from Estonia.
In 2012, most of the imports were from Sweden (14.4 TWh net import) with Russia also contributing to the net imbalance (4.4 TWh import only), while exports to Estonia were larger than imports (1.1 TWh net export).
|Electricity in Finland TWh |
Electricity per person and by power source
|Electricity per person in Finland (kWh/ hab.)|
|Use||Production||Import||Import %||Fossil||Nuclear||Nuc. %||Other RE||Bio+waste||Wind||Non RE use*||RE %*|
|* Other RE is waterpower, solar and geothermal electricity and windpower until 2008
* Non RE use = use – production of renewable electricity
RE % = (production of RE / use) * 100% Note: EU calculates the share of renewable energies in gross electrical consumption.
The capacity of power stations in Finland was 12.9 GW in 2009 and 13.7 GW in 2005. The capacity of power stations in Sweden was 28.8 GW in 2009 and 27.9 GW in 2005. There is a new nuclear reactor (European Pressurized Water Reactor) under construction in Olkiluoto. The Areva/Siemens contract was scheduled for delivery in 2009, with commercial production beginning in 2010. As of March 2015[update], the station remains under construction, with eventual production use most recently planned for 2018.
Mode of production
|Electricity by mode of production (%)|
Except for peat, which is variously classed as either a fossil fuel or a slow-renewable fuel, Finland imports all the fossil fuels used for electricity production. Coal and natural gas account for most of the production, with some oil generators acting mostly as reserve. The use of fossil fuels has fallen from highs over 30% in 2003-2004 to 20% or below in 2012-2014. This is largely a consequence of cheap imported electricity, although domestic renewables have also increased in their share of production. 
As of 2008, Finland's nuclear power program has four nuclear reactors in two power plants. The first of these came into operation in 1977. In 2009 nuclear power stations produced 22 TWh electricity which was 28% of total electricity consumption 81 TWh.
Finland would have had one of the highest - or the highest - per capita nuclear electricity production in the world (7,050 kWh/year; 45%) in 2009, if the new reactor had been ready as scheduled. In 2009, other nations' per capita nuclear electricity production were France 6,371 kWh/year, Sweden 5,382 kWh/year, USA 2,699 kWh/year, Japan 2,198 kWh/year, and UK 1,120 kWh/year.
Areva/Siemens estimate the new 1,600MWe European Pressurized Water Reactor in Olkiluoto will start in 2013. The construction would be 8 years (2005-2013) instead of 4 years (2005-2009). The nuclear capacity was 2,671 MW on 1 January 2006. With the new reactor, combined capacity will be over 4.2GW. This will increase nuclear electricity production by 60%.
In 2010, the Finnish parliament gave permission for two more new nuclear reactors. Further, in March 2011, many politicians favored renewing the licenses for two old ones.
The Finnish company Fortum owns 45.5% of Oskarshamn Nuclear Power Plant and 22% Forsmark Nuclear Power Plant in Sweden. In 2004, Fortum produced 17.9% of Swedish nuclear electricity (13.4 TWh / 75 TWh).
In 2009, Finland imported nuclear fuel from Sweden (40%), Russia (18%), Germany (2%) and other countries (40%). In 2006 the other country source of nuclear fuel was Spain. Both Sweden and Spain intend to phase out nuclear power. This may impact the nuclear power fuel availability and price in Finland. Swedish people voted for phase-out of nuclear power plants on 23 March 1980.
Talvivaara Mining Company applied for uranium mining permission on 20 April 2010. This was the first uranium application in the history of Finland. According to the Ministry of Trade, the EIA process on the application would run until 31 March 2011. However, on 31 March, the application was supplemented. In February 2011, Talvivaara sold its uranium mining rights through 2027 to the Canadian company Cameco.
Between 2005-2014, Finland produced 25-30% of electricity as a percentage of demand from renewable energy. The largest source is hydropower (15-20%) which fluctuates yearly depending on rainfall, causing the share of renewable generation to also vary. Other major sources are wood-based energy resources like black liquor from the forest industry, accounting for approximately 12% on average. In recent years wind power (see below) has also gained a foothold. 
In 2015, Finland covered 2.8% of its electricity demand with wind power production, up from 1.3% the previous year. As of September 2016, the record peak was 1.2 GW on August 27, when domestic wind power covered 14% of the hourly electricity demand.
|EU, Finland and Sweden Wind Energy Capacity (MW)|
In 2014 Finnish state was planning to reduce local municipal income from wind power by taking half of the tax income to the state (tax of real estate). This is suggested since state is afraid that the wind power market is overheated in Finland in 2014. There is in total 448 MW wind power in start of 2014. The reduced tax is aimed to low interest in wind power investments in the municipalities. According to MTV News the wind power industry protested saying that the national wind power targets will unlikely be achieved. The Finnish permit system is also much more complicated than in Sweden. Historically the renewable energy targets in Finland has never been achieved.
In 2013 Sweden added new wind power capacity twice the volume Finland has in total.
In 2016 there has been renewed discussion about Finland's energy policy. Finland imports over 20% of the electricity used at peak usage. For example, in the hour between 17-18 on January 7, 2016, during a period of extreme cold, Finland imported 4,300 MW (28.5%) out of a record 15,100 MW of total usage (average over 1 hour). The delays in the construction of the third reactor at the Olkiluoto Nuclear Power Plant (est. 1,600 MWe when completed), which was projected to be operating commercially by 2010 but is now being estimated to be completed no earlier than 2018, have caused a significant domestic energy production deficit. A consortium of Finnish industry and power companies called Fennovoima has applied and been granted a permission to build another new nuclear power plant, delivered by Russia's Rosatom, which also has a 1/3 stake on the power plant. This has caused some concern among observers about Russia being able to manipulate Nordic electricity prices or use the power plant as a leverage in conflict situations. The plant is estimated to be operational by 2024 and projected to produce 1,200 MW of electricity.
The government of Finland has attempted to decrease the dependency on Russian energy by investing heavily in wind power, solar power and efficient energy use, but these measures have hardly been effective. The Finnish Security Intelligence Service (Supo) indicated in 2016 that foreign intelligence activity in Finland was aimed at influencing decision-making in energy policy.
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