The director general of Finland’s energy department, Riku Huttunen, announced that the country will introduce legislation to phase out coal and increase carbon taxes.
The new rules, which Huttunen said would “leave room for manoeuvre,” are expected to be in place by 2018 and the goal is to get rid of coal by 2030.
Flexibility in the legislation is needed to ensure supply and avoid the risk of blackouts, he added, particularly taking into account that 10 per cent of the country’s energy is produced by coal. In fact, Finland uses the most coal of all the Nordic countries.
To replace this source of energy, the Sauli Niinistö government will focus its efforts on making sure that the Olkiluoto 3 reactor comes online in 2018 and the Hanhikivi 1 reactor follows suit in 2024. Once this happens, about 60 per cent of Finland’s demand will be met by nuclear power. At present, operative reactors cover roughly 30 per cent of the country’s energy needs.
Instability in power supply could be in sight in the short term, however, as Sweden has plans to phase out two reactors. This means that there will be less energy available through the two countries’ interconnected grids.