Energy consumption

Updated: 21 Dec 2020
Next update: 16 Dec 2021

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.

   

Total energy consumption decreased and consumption of renewable energy grew by one per cent in 2019

According to Statistics Finland, total consumption of energy in Finland amounted to 1.36 million terajoules (TJ) in 2019, which corresponded to a fall of one per cent compared with the previous year. The consumption of electricity totalled 86.1 terawatt hours (TWh), which was two per cent less than in the previous year. The consumption of fossil fuels and peat decreased in total by seven per cent. The consumption of coal and peat decreased most, by 20 and 8 per cent. Carbon dioxide emissions from the use of fuels diminished correspondingly by seven per cent. The use of renewable energy grew by one per cent remaining at a record high level just like in previous years.

The use of renewable energy grew by one per cent in 2019 from the year before. The consumption of wood fuels continued growing for the fourth consecutive year and their use rose again record high in 2019. The share of wood fuels in Finland’s total energy consumption was 28 per cent in 2019. The use of wood fuels in energy production and manufacturing grew by two per cent compared with 2018. The production of hydro power, dependent on the water situation, fell by seven per cent. The production of hydro power decreased for the fourth year in a row, but the production of wind power continued growing, by three per cent from 2018. The annual production of wind power reached its new record, as nearly 80 new wind farms started in 2019. The use of solar power grew by 53 per cent from the previous year but its share of total energy consumption is still only 0.5 per mil.

Nearly 38 per cent of total energy consumption and 43 per cent of final consumption were covered with renewable energy sources in 2019. As late as 1990, the share of renewable energy in total consumption was just 18 per cent, after which it has grown steadily, growing in the 2010s still clearly faster than before.

EU targets for renewable energy are calculated relative to total final energy consumption. Calculated in this way, the share of renewable energy sources in Finland rose to 43 per cent in 2019. Finland has exceeded its target for the share of renewable energy, 38 per cent of final energy consumption since 2014. The share of renewable energy in final energy consumption has been the second highest among EU countries.

The share of fossil fuels and peat in total energy consumption decreased by seven per cent from the previous year. The consumption of coal and peat declined most, by 20 and 8 per cent. Most of the energy use of coal is hard coal, whose consumption diminished by 23 per cent. Apart from hard coal, coal consumption also includes coke, blast furnace and coke oven gases used in manufacturing. The consumption of fossil oil decreased by two per cent and that of natural gas by three per cent. The use of fossil fuels and peat decreased most in the production of electricity and heat. Greenhouse gas emissions from combustion in the energy sector declined by seven per cent from the previous year.

Nuclear energy covered 18 per cent of total energy consumption and its use grew by around five per cent compared with the previous years 2017 and 2018, when the production of nuclear power was a few per cent lower than average. The share of other energy sources was still six per cent. Other energy sources include net imports of electricity and reaction heat of industry.