Finland to provide $88 mln investment aid to renewables projects

Finland will provide 80 million euros ($88 million) in aid to biofuel and new energy technology projects to meet its climate goals by 2030, the government said on Thursday.

The Nordic country wants to source more than half of its energy needs from renewables by the 2020s.

The government also confirmed its plans to phase out coal and reduce its use of imported oil.

“Finland will stop using coal in energy production and halve the use of imported oil for domestic needs during the 2020s,” the Ministry of Employment and the Economy said in a statement.

Consumption of hard coal, which is mainly imported from Russia, fell in 2015 by 26 percent year-on-year to 2.6 million tonnes, the lowest level since early 1980s, preliminary data from the Finland’s statistics office showed.

Finnish utilities have already mothballed or permanently closed a number of coal power plants as Nordic power prices plunged to 15-year lows last year, reducing profitability.

Finnish utility Lahti Energia said on Thursday it planned to mothball its 170 megawatt (MW) Kymijarvi coal and gas power plant from June 2019.

Last year, another Finnish utility, PVO, decided to permanently close its 240 MW Tahkoluoto and 240 Kristiina coal power plants.

In total, up to 1,800 MW of electricity production capacity, equivalent to two nuclear reactors, was expected to be decommissioned in Finland during 2013-2016, PVO has said.

($1 = 0.9085 euros)




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