Energy supply – Mitigation


Production of energy produces a notable part of all produced greenhouse gas emissions. Thus, the selections made in energy production and consumption solve a major part of the nation's emission balance. Consideration should be given to all possible means from saving energy to new production methods and fuels.

National greenhouse gas emissions are solved with energy production selections

Approximately half of Finland's greenhouse gas emissions are caused by the production of electricity and heat for residential, business and industrial use. Selections made in energy production thus play a major role in emissions both regionally and on a national level. Reducing the energy need is the most effective, but also the most challenging method.

Changing to low emission fuels is also a part of the solution

The greenhouse gas emissions of produced electricity and heat depend on the used fuels. In Finland, nearly half of the energy originates in fossil fuels which produce greenhouse gas emissions, including coal, natural gas and peat. A quarter of the energy is produced with nuclear power. In addition tall oil, wood and other emission-neutral bio fuels add up to approximately a quarter. Five per cent of the energy is produced with water power and 0.1% with wind power.

By replacing plants using fossil fuels with emission-free forms of energy, emissions can be mitigated most effectively. The advantage of wind power, solar energy and ground heat is that they can also be used for the implementation of decentralised and small-scale solutions. In addition, heat can be recovered from the exhaust air of ventilation and waste water with the help of heat pumps.

So far, the most effective means is to change the fossil fuels used by plants to emission-neutral bio fuels. Wood and cultivation waste and manure – organic masses that do not need to be grown for the production of energy – are best suited for bio fuels. Fuels treated from municipal waste are also partially biological.

Energy production can be enhanced with technical improvements

Emissions can also be reduced by improving the efficiency and other technique in plants. For example, by changing heat plants into joint production plants for electricity and heat, the amount of utilised energy can be increased. With technical improvements, a larger share of fuel's energy can be utilised or the carbon dioxide produced by the plant recovered. In addition, if the fuel is biological, additional gain can be gathered if the carbon dioxide is recovered.

Environmental criteria for competitive bidding of electricity purchase

When purchasing electricity, environmental views should be included as selection criteria. Tenders can be given points so that electricity produced with renewable sources of energy have a greater importance than electricity produced with fossil fuels.

References [1], [2], [3], [4]