Government promises to secure sufficient electricity for industry

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Sixth nuclear installation possible

Government promises to secure sufficient electricity for industry

The government hopes to make sure in its new energy and climate strategy that Finnish industry will get the electricity it needs.

Helsingin Sanomat has learned that a ministerial working group estimates that the need for electricity in 2020 will be about 103 terawatt hours (TWh). After that year, demand for electricity is expected to decline slowly.

The estimate means that in addition to the fifth Finnish nuclear reactor currently being built in Olkiluoto, only one more such installation would be built in Finland.

Finnish Energy Industries (ET) has estimated that annual electricity consumption in Finland would increase from today’s 90.3 TWh to 107 TWh by 2020, and that it would continue to increase to nearly 120 TWh in 2030.

The ministerial working group apparently is calculating that the electricity from the nuclear unit that is being built, and from a possible new installation, in addition to wind power and other renewable sources, would be sufficient to meet the country’s electricity needs.

According to the government’s calculations, there will be more than 110 TWh of electricity available in 2020, which is more than Finnish Energy Industries feels is necessary.

If the industry’s calculation that consumption will reach 120 TWh by 2020 is realised, Finland will probably need two new nuclear plants, in addition to the unit that is being built.

Finland’s climate and energy strategy is being prepared under the leadership of Minister of Economic Affairs Mauri Pekkarinen (Centre).

One of the most difficult questions to evaluate is how much energy Finland will use in 2020.

Factors influencing the estimate include how eager consumers will be to save energy, and what kinds of energy-saving technologies will come into use in the coming decades.

Disagreements focus especially on the question of growth in electricity consumption.

Ole Johansson, chairman of the Federation of Finnish Technology Industries, has warned that the climate strategy could cost Finland thousands of jobs, if the government is not able to guarantee the availability of electricity.

The energy and climate strategy is expected to come before Parliament in October or November.

Posted in |