Finland is one of those countries which do not have access to fossil fuel energy. As a result it has to import a significant portion of energy resources and fuels, particularly gasoline, oil, natural gas and uranium.
At the same time, with its high import of energy resources, Finland reports the highest per-capita consumption of electricity in the entire European Union. This results from a number of reasons:
- High industrialization – about 50% of the country’s energy is consumed by industry;
- Cold climate – about 25% of energy is used for heating;
- Low population density and long distances – 16% of energy is consumed by transport.
Finland’s energy consumption
Finland has a highly diversified energy generation structure. According to the Finnish statistical office’s data, 25%of all the energy the country consumes is generated by burning wood and wood fuels. The second most important source is crude oil, which accounts for 22%.
Nuclear power amounts to 17% of the country’s energy. None of the other sources exceeds 9%. What is interesting, 5% of the energy used by end consumers comes from import. Another interesting fact is that 4% of the consumed energy is generated from peat.
Taking into account only electricity, 28% is generated from fossil fuels, 25% – in nuclear power plants and 24% is imported. Hydropower accounts for 17%, while the wind – for nearly 6%.
In its total final consumption balance, Finland is also Europe’s leader in using renewable energy. The renewable energy share accounts for 39%.
This stems primarily from the high share of wood fuels. In the renewable source balance, 31% of the generated energy comes from black liquor and similar oily waste coming from paper production. Another 29% is generated by burning industrial wood fuels, mainly woodchips, 13% is generated from burning firewood.
Hydropower and other sources like non-wood biofuels, biogas or heat pumps each account for 13% of energy.
Because of Finland’s cool climate the majority of energy used in households – 83% – accounts for heating of buildings and water. All the electronic devices use up nearly 9% of power. Lighting consumes 3% and cooking – 1%. A fairly significant amount of consumed energy is attributed to the Finnish tradition – sauna. Heating of saunas takes up nearly 5% of total power consumed by Finnish households.