Despite the long and dark winters, Finland is almost equally well suited to solar energy production as Germany, where one million homes are already using solar-powered electricity. In Finland there are perhaps one hundred solar energy households, according to Professor Peter Lund from the Aalto University.
Compared to Central Europe, the lack of dust and smog in Finland’s micro climate makes it a surprisingly good location for domestic solar energy production. “In terms of maximum short-term output, the best time for solar panels is a cold March afternoon,” says Lund. While there is not much sunshine from November to early February, at other times the conditions are good and during the summer it’s possible to be self-sufficient by using solar energy, according to Lund.
He recommends using solar energy in combination with other electricity and heat production methods. For example, he says that half of the hot water needs of a detached house can be easily be provided with solar energy.
So far solar energy production has been largely underdeveloped and unsupported in Finland, but it has great industrial potential and could create new businesses, according to Lund. Globally the solar energy market is already worth some EUR 100 billion.