Energy consumption

Updated: 8 Dec 2017
Next update: 11 Dec 2018

Energy production and consumption play a key role in society, because a large part of society’s activities are dependent on energy, and most of the greenhouse gas emissions arise from energy consumption. The choice of energy sources has a significant impact on the state of the environment and particularly on climate change. All forms of energy production have their own environmental effects, but in this respect the most significant is the choice between renewable and non-renewable energy sources.

Energy consumption is often directly reflected in the development of GDP and in greenhouse gas emissions. In a sustainable society, GDP growth should be disconnected from energy consumption and at the same time the proportion of fossil fuels should be reduced. Ordinary citizens can affect trends in energy consumption through their own choices, including, for example, electricity consumption and transport.

Statistics on total consumption of energy describe the commensurate total consumption of domestic energy sources and imported energy in Finland. Total consumption of energy describes fuels used in the production and processing of energy, and energy used in direct, final consumption.

Total consumption of energy includes data on use of fossil fuels, energy peat, renewable energy sources, nuclear energy and net imports of electricity.


Use of renewable energy at record level in 2016

According to Statistics Finland, total consumption of energy in Finland amounted to 1.36 million terajoules (TJ) in 2016, which corresponded to a growth of four per cent compared with the previous year. The consumption of electricity totalled 85.2 terawatt hours (TWh), which was three per cent more than in the previous year. The use of renewable energy sources grew by two per cent, rising to a new record level. Renewables covered 34 per cent of total energy consumption and according to preliminary data, barely 39 per cent of end use. The consumption of fossil fuels also rose by seven per cent.

The share of renewable energy in total energy consumption was 34 per cent in 2016. Wood fuels remained the biggest energy sources in Finland and their share of total energy consumption was 26 per cent. The consumption of wind power grew by 32 per cent and energy extracted with heat pumps from the environment by 23 per cent. The consumption of biofuels in transport, in turn, fell by 64 per cent from the record level of two preceding years. Annual variation in the consumption of biofuels is caused by Finland's biofuel legislation, which allows the distributors to fulfil the bio obligation flexibly in advance. Although the consumption of renewable energy sources rose compared with the previous year, their share of total energy consumption and also of end consumption declined slightly. This is because the amount of other fuels simultaneously grew more than renewable energy sources.