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Monday, 15 June 2015 14:00

Finland's energy can be 100% renewable by 2050

A fully renewable energy system will be economically viable in Finland by 2050, according to researchers from Finnish Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT).

New search conducted revealed the possibility of a fully renewable energy system in all energy consuming sectors in 35 years’ time, Caspian Energy News (www.caspianenergy.net) reports with reference to Anadolu Agency.

"The main message is the option of a fully renewable energy system must be seen as a valid option for the future, rather than a radical alternative," said Christian Breyer, LUT's professor for solar economy.

The study suggests installing 35 gigawatts of solar power capacity and 44 gigawatts of wind power which is above those seen in previous analyses. This could create more than 166 terawatt hours of electricity per year - approximately double the current level of final electricity consumption.

"The total annual costs for 100 percent renewable energy systems are approximately 25 billion euros. By comparison, the current energy system has an annual cost of approximately 18 billion euros and is set to rise to 21 billion euros by 2020 using the same method of calculation," the research said.

Breyer added that Finland certainly has an abundance of renewable resources, such as solar, wind, bioenergy and has already exploited hydropower which can be sustainably utilized.

In order to achieve the national greenhouse gas reduction targets for 2050, all energy sectors need to be emission-free by 2050, the study said.

Converting electricity into gases such as hydrogen, using energy storage solutions such as batteries, heat storage and synthetic natural gas storage will have a central role as enabling technologies to achieve this goal.

According to International Energy Agency, Finland is highly dependent on imported fossil fuels while energy resources are at the heart of the government’s concerns. The Finnish government’s energy strategy aims to strengthen Finland’s energy security to move progressively towards a decarbonized economy.

The EU aims for its renewable sources to account for 20 percent of the total electricity consumption by 2020. As well as this collective goal, each member country has its own renewable target according to the member states' different starting points, renewable energy potential and economic performance.

Finland aims to meet 38 percent of its energy consumption from renewable sources by 2020.

Estonia passed its 25 percent target by 0.6 percent in 2013 while Sweden surpassed its 2020 target of 49 percent by reaching 52.1 percent. Sweden is also the country with the most shares at 52.1 percent allocated to renewable energy in 2013, followed by Latvia, Finland and Austria.

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