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Biogas in Finland

General
The objective of the Finnish National Climate and Energy Strategy (2005) is that consumption of renewable energy should grow by at least one-fourth by the year 2015 and by at least 40% by 2025 such that renewable energy accounts for almost one-third of primary energy by 2025. The use of forestry chips, energy crop-derived biomass, biogas and smallscale wood facilities should increase by approximately 65% by 2015 and by about 80% by 2025 as compared to 2003. In 2010, renewable electricity should account for 31.5% of total Finnish power consumption. Biofuels should account for 5.75% of road transport fuels in 2010.

Taxation of fossil fuels is in place as of 1990. The fuels have a tax which is based on the carbon content. In the beginning of 2008, levels of tax have been increased slightly. Fossil Fuels used for electricity generation are not taxed, but an electricity tax is imposed on the consumption of electricity. In CHP, fuels used for heat generation are calculated by the amount of heat produced. Tax rates differ for industry and for private consumers.

According to the Directive 2009/28/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources the target for the share of energy from renewable sources in gross final consumption of energy in the year 2020 for Finland is 38% (in the year 2005 the share was 28.5%). The Directive has a mandatory 10 % target for transport to be achieved by all Member States, which refers to renewable sources as a whole, not biofuels alone.

Renewable energy projections according to the National Renewable Energy Action Plan for Finland
The National Renewable Energy Action Plan (NREAP) for Finland was submitted in July 2010. The target according to Annex I of Directive 2009/28/EC is 38% for the year 2020 and the projected NREAP share in that year exactly matches the target.  According to the projection, the most important contribution in the year 2020 is expected from biomass (renewable heating and cooling) (6610 ktoe, 62% of all renewable energy). Second important contribution is expected from hydropower (14.4 TWh or 1239 ktoe, 12% of all renewable energy). The third largest contribution is from biomass (renewable electricity) (12.9 TWh or 1110 ktoe, 10% of all renewable energy). Wind power contributes with 2.5 GW (6.1 TWh). For solar photovoltaic the 2020 contribution is projected to be 10 MW. For solar thermal the 2020 contribution is projected to be 0 ktoe. The two most important biofuels are projected to contribute 430 ktoe (biodiesel) and 130 ktoe (bioethanol / bio-ETBE) by 2020. The renewable electricity production from solid biomass amounts to 7.9 TWh (676 ktoe) and for biogas it is expected to be 0.3 TWh (23 ktoe). The consumption of renewable heat is expected to amount to 3940 ktoe for solid biomass and 60 ktoe for biogas.

Renewable Heat and Electricity: Biogas
In Finland there is a continued interest in planning and building new biogas plants. One new plant was online in early 2008; circa 10 centralised plants are under planning or building phase, altogether 20-30 MW. In 2007, 59 biogas plants were in operation. Landfills are currently the largest biogas producers (33 in 2007).

At least two new co-digestion plants are coming online in 2008. Biomethane injection to the grid is not yet practiced. New subsidies for the produced biogas, or for electricity produced from biogas is to be expected.

The Council of State’s new decision (625/2002, EUVL C37/2001/) supports invest-ments in renewable energy, conventional technology (renovation and modernisation projects) with 30% of investment costs and innovative projects with 40% of investment costs.

For renewable electricity generators a support exists, funded from the electricity tax
on consumers: 0.69 eurocents per kWh tax support for electricity produced from forest chips and wind power, 0.25 eurocents per kWh tax support for electricity produced from recycled fuels and 0.42 eurocents per kWh tax support for electricity produced from other renewable sources.

Finland does not currently have a comprehensive feed-in tariff or certification scheme in place.

Future programme changes expected

In the year 2007, the government started to prepare a new long-term (up to the year 2050) climate and energy strategy that will meet EU’s new targets for the reduction of green house gas emissions and the promotion of renewable energy sources. The new strategy will be introduced in the course of 2008, but hasn’t been released yet (status August 2008).

The government is also considering a feed-in tariff or green certificates to
further promote renewables.

Sources

IEA, Energy Policies of IEA Countries, Finland 2007 Review, OECD/IEA, 2008

Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation, www.tekes.fi (sourced August 2008)

Jussi Heinimö: IEA Bioenergy Task 40 “Sustainable International Bioenergy Trade: Se-curing supply and demand” Country report of Finland 2008, Lappeenranta University of Technology, Department of Energy and Environmental Technology, Research Report EN-A 57, ISBN 978-952-214-613-7, August 2008

Ministry of Employment and the Economy, www.tem.fi (sourced August 2008)

Motiva Oy, www.motiva.fi (sourced August 2008)

Rintala, J.: Energy frombiogas and landfill gas; country report Finland. IEA Biogas Seminar, Ludlow, April 2008

Petersson, A.: Biogas from an international perspective. Swedish Gas Centre (SGC), 2008

The National Renewable Energy Action Plans (NREAPs) are all published on the Transparency Platform on Renewable Energy: http://ec.europa.eu/energy/renewables/transparency_platform/action_plan_en.htm (sourced July - December 2010)

Renewable Energy Projections as Published in the National Renewable Energy Action Plans of the European Member States, http://www.ecn.nl/nreap (sourced December 2010)

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Last update: December 2010


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