Finland Nearing Zero-Carbon Economy

Country Overview

The Republic of Finland in Northern Europe is bordered by the Gulf of Bothnia, Gulf of Finland, Sweden, Norway, and Russia. The population of Finland is approximately 5.55 million people.

In 2022, Finland’s economy was ranked 47th in the world in gross domestic product (GDP). The country’s economy is dependent on the export of refined petroleum, kaolin coated paper, cars, sawn wood, large flat-rolled stainless steel, paper making machines, precipitated cooper, and vegetable parchment.

Environmental Policies

In 2009, Finland as a member of the European Union (EU) committed to the Renewable Energy Directive, which requires each country to use renewable energy for 20% of its total energy needs by 2020 and 27% by 2030.

In 2016, Finland as a member of the EU signed the Paris Climate Agreement. The EU committed to a 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emission by 2030 compared to 1990 levels.

Power Generation Capabilities

In 2021, 100% of the people in Finland had access to electricity.  In 2022, utilities used renewable energy (54.9%), nuclear energy (34.3%), oil (4.9%), coal (4.1%) and natural gas (1.8%) to generate electricity in Finland. Hydropower, biomass, and wind are the dominant types of renewable energy used to generate electricity in Finland.

Recent renewable energy developments in Finland includes the following:

  • 2,000 MW Offshore Wind Project – German company, Skyborn Renewables is continuing work on the Pooki offshore wind by the state-owned Metsähallitus. The wind project is located approximately 15 miles off the coast of Finland in Bothnian Bay.
  • 1,300 MW Offshore Wind ProjectFinnish state-owned enterprise Metsähallitus is continuing work on the Korsnäs offshore wind project, which is located approximately 10 miles off the Finnish coast in the Gulf of Bothnia. The project is scheduled to be commissioned in 2028.
  • 500 MW Solar Project – A consortium of European companies including De Vrije Wind, Kaskisten Tuulivoima Oy and Kauhanummi Oy are continuing work on a solar project at a site approximately 175 miles northwest of the nation’s capital, Helsinki. The project is forecast to be commissioned in 2024.
  • 216 MW Onshore Wind Project – In June 2023, Finish renewable energy company, Ilmatar Energy commissioned the Alajarvi onshore wind project in the central region of the country.
  • 75 MW Pumped Hydropower Energy Storage – Finnish renewable energy company, Suomen Energiavarasto Oy is continuing work to build an underground pumped hydro storage station at a site approximately 275 miles north of Helsinki. The project is scheduled to be commissioned in 2026.
  • 48 MW Wind Project – In December 2022, Ilmatar Energy commissioned the Rasakangas onshore wind project at a site approximately 190 miles northwest of Helsinki.
  • 25 MW Wind Project – In December 2022, Ilmatar Energy commissioned the Voimamylly wind project at a site approximately 75 miles northwest of Helsinki.

Finland imports fossil fuels (oil, coal, and natural gas) for power generation, heating, and transportation. In 2021, Finland imported U.S. $3.84 Billion of crude oil and U.S. $2.96 Billion of refined petroleum.

In 2021, Finland used fossil fuels to generate 10.8% of the nation’s electricity. In 2021, Russia provided 92%, 80%, and 14% of Finland’s natural gas[1], crude oil, and coal[2] imports, respectively.

On 24 February 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine, prompting the European Union, United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand to place economic sanctions on Russian imports and exports. As a result, the crude oil and natural gas prices increased by over 50% from May 2021 to May 2022.

Finland has significant undeveloped renewable energy resources, including hydropower, offshore wind, biomass, onshore wind, and solar. Wood waste from the country’s timber industry is the primary fuel for most of Finland’s biomass power plants.

Finland is aggressively developing new renewable energy projects to achieve energy independence from Russian fossil fuel imports and to become a zero-carbon economy.

Jack Kerfoot

Website – “Our Energy Conundrum”


Jack Kerfoot is a scientist, energy expert, and author of the book FUELING AMERICA, An Insider’s Journey and articles for The Hill, one of the largest independent political news sites in the United States. He has been interviewed on over 100 radio, podcast, and television stations from New York City to Los Angeles on a diverse range of energy issues.


[1] Trading Economics, Finland Natural Gas Imports from Russia, August 2022

[2] Politico, “Finland Faces Russia Electricity Cutoff by Jan Cienski, May 13, 2022

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