Renewable energy sources

Updated: 11 Dec 2018
Next update: 12 Dec 2019

A common feature of renewable energy sources is that their sustainable use does not deplete their stocks in the long term. The goal of increasing the use of renewable energy sources is closely related to sustainable development and actions that do not limit the options of future generations.

Growth in the use of renewable energy sources is connected with climate agreements and curbing climate warming. Although the key motivation for increasing the use of renewable energy is reducing greenhouse gas emissions, use of renewable energy sources also promotes use of bioenergy and other domestic energy, steers society to invest in research and product development, and improves and maintains security of supply in the energy sector.

The renewable energy sources used in Finland are hydro and wind power, solar energy, aerothermal energy and ground heat captured by heat pumps, biogas, biodegradable parts of recovered and waste fuels, wood-based fuels, and other vegetable and animal-based fuels.


Use of renewable energy continued growing in 2017

According to Statistics Finland, total consumption of energy in Finland amounted to 1.35 million terajoules (TJ) in 2017, which corresponded to a fall of one cent compared with the previous year. The consumption of electricity totalled 85 terawatt hours (TWh), which was on level with the year before. Renewable energy sources covered 37 per cent of total energy consumption and according to preliminary data, over 40 per cent of final use. Their use grew by six per cent, rising to a new record level. The consumption of fossil fuels and peat declined by six per cent.

The share of renewable energy in total energy consumption was 37 per cent in 2017. As late as 1990, its share was just 18 per cent, after which it has grown steadily, growing in the 2010s still clearly faster than before. Compared with 2016, the share of renewable energy in total consumption rose by three percentage points.

EU targets for renewable energy are calculated relative to gross final energy consumption. Calculated in this manner, the share of renewable energy rose to over 40 per cent in Finland in 2017 based on Statistics Finland's preliminary data. Finland reached the target for the share of renewable energy, 38 per cent of gross final energy consumption in 2020, for the first time in 2014. The share of renewable energy in final energy use was the second highest among EU countries.