Climate change mitigation directs energy production
Climate change accelerated by greenhouse gas emissions has challenged energy production in the whole world. A large part of global energy production (electricity and heat) is still based on fossil fuels that cause greenhouse gas emissions. The most commonly used of these fuels is coal. However, a change for the better has already taken place in the form of considerable increase in renewable energy. A key milestone was reached in Paris in December 2015 when the international community set a goal of limiting the increase in global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels.
In the EU, every member state has a right to their own energy production palette. However, targets to reduce greenhouse gases, increase renewable energy and improve energy efficiency have been set in order to direct energy production and use. In the follow-up of the so-called 20-20-20 package for year 2020, targets for 2030 have already been set, with a 40 per cent emissions reduction target and a 27 per cent share of renewable energy.
Finland has practically reached its own target of increasing renewable energy by 2020 (38%), and emissions reductions in energy production are progressing within the EU emissions trading system. In 2015, 79 per cent of electricity generated in Finland was emission-free, and renewable energy sources in electricity generation accounted for 45 per cent. In district heat production, the share of renewable wood and other biofuels increased to almost 33 per cent in 2015.
The strength of Finland’s energy production has for long been the diversity of the production palette in both electricity and heat production. The palette should be kept as diverse even after fossil energy sources have been phased out. Finnish Energy has committed itself to a climate-neutral energy future by 2050.