Energy consumption

Updated: 12 Dec 2019
Next update: 21 Dec 2020

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 fossil fuels and renewable energy increased in Finland in 2018

According to Statistics Finland, total consumption of energy in Finland amounted to 1.38 million terajoules (TJ) in 2018, which corresponded to a growth of two per cent compared with the previous year. The consumption of electricity totalled 87.5 terawatt hours (TWh), which was two per cent more than in the previous year. Consumption of fossil fuels and peat increased in total by three per cent. The use of natural gas and peat increased most, both by 15 per cent. The use of renewable energy also grew by two per cent remaining at a record high level just like in previous years. The greenhouse gas emissions of the energy sector went up by two per cent as a result of increased use of natural gas and peat.

The use of renewable energy increased by two per cent in 2018 from the year before. Wood fuels remained the biggest energy sources in Finland and their share of total energy consumption was 27 per cent. Consumption of wood fuels increased by three per cent and the use of black liquor from the forest industry increased most, by eight per cent, due to increased production of pulp. The use of wood fuels has never before been this high. Due to low water levels the production of hydro power fell by 10 per cent, but this decrease was partly compensated by wind power, whose production rose by 22 per cent. In relative terms, the production of solar energy increased most, by 86 per cent, but its share in total energy consumption is still low, 0.1 per mil.

Nearly 37 per cent of total energy consumption was covered with renewable energy sources and more than/around 40 per cent of final consumption in 2018. As late as 1990, the share of renewable energy in total consumption was just 18 per cent. Since then it has grown steadily, the growth getting faster in the 2010s.

EU targets for renewable energy are calculated relative to total final energy consumption. Calculated in this manner, the share of renewable energy was over 40 per cent in Finland in 2018 based on Statistics Finland's data. 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 remained at last year’s level, 40 per cent in total, even though their consumption increased by three per cent. The use of natural gas and peat increased most, both by 15 per cent. The consumption of natural gas made an upturn after several years of decline. More natural gas was used in the production of electricity and heat than in 2017. The use of energy peat was higher in 2018 than in several earlier years. The growth in peat use was affected by the exceptional weather conditions during the heating season at the start of the year and the resulting growth in demand. The increase in the use of natural gas and energy peat was also boosted by the higher wholesale price of electricity. The consumption of oil, in turn, fell by one per cent. The consumption of coal remained at the level of 2017, but the consumption of hard coal decreased by four per cent. Apart from hard coal, coal consumption also includes coke, blast furnace and coke oven gases used in manufacturing. The greenhouse gas emissions of the energy sector went up by two per cent as a result of increased use of fossil fuels and peat

Nuclear energy covered 17 per cent of total energy consumption and other energy sources six per cent.