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Solid biomass in Finland

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 electricity and heat : solid biomass

Finland is by far the number one solid biomass user in Europe. Biomass represents approximately 30% of Finland’s total energy consumption and approximately 20% of its electricity production. Finland has known how to develop the latest, most advanced technologies for energy valorisation of biomass, whether this be in terms of forest management or in terms of the building of very large scale combined heat and power (CHP) units. Black liquors represent half of the country’s energy produced from solid biomass (50.2% in 2006). The Finnish State favours development of biomass origin electricity and heat by granting a total exemption of the energy tax paid by final consumers. The government imposes a tax per kWh on all Finnish electricity suppliers, which they pass on to their end consumers. The government refunds this tax to suppliers of renewable electricity, being 0.42 €c/kWh for biomas-related technologies. Investors also benefit from subventions that can reach 30% for electric power plants.

In the “Long-term Climate and Energy Strategy” approved by the Finnish Government in November 2008, it is stated that a series of measures will be put in place in order to allow Finland to meet the requirements as set by the RES Directive of 2008. These will be mainly based on an increase of the use of wood-based energy, waste fuels, heat pumps, biogas and wind power, bringing to a growth of forest chips use to two or three times over current levels. Climate and energy financing were planned to increase from EUR 350 million in 2007 to EUR 440 million in 2008 and to EUR 550 million in 2009.

In Finland, peat is classified as a ‘slowly renewable’ biomass fuel. With a share of approximately 6 per cent, it holds a significant position in the Finnish energy balance. As a domestic fuel, peat is regarded to have an important impact on regional policy and employment, and it has an effect on security of energy supply. The Finnish national energy and climate strategy aims to maintain the position of peat as a competitive alternative in energy production.

The Finnish Funding Agency for technology and innovation, Tekes funds several biomass-related projects, such as new biomass-based products (BioRefine, 2007-2012).

Future programme changes expected

No information on future policy.


Interactive EurObserv’ER Database, (status 2007)

EurObserv’ER Barometer on Solid Biomass, December 2007,

Ministry of Employment and the Economy, (sourced November 2008)

Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation, (sourced August 2008)

EREC, Renewable energy policy review, Finland, March 2009

International Energy Agency, Global Renewable Energy Policies and Measures Database, (sourced October 2009)

Directive 2009/28/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2009 on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources,

The National Renewable Energy Action Plans (NREAPs) are all published on the Transparency Platform on Renewable Energy: (sourced July - December 2010)

Renewable Energy Projections as Published in the National Renewable Energy Action Plans of the European Member States, (sourced December 2010)

Interactive EurObserv’ER Database
Last update: December 2010

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