Finnish government increases subsidy for renewable energy

New criteria make it easier for wind, biogas and solar energy projects to apply for the discretionary subsidy.

The government of Finland is increasing the amount of discretionary energy subsidy available for the production of renewable energy, and also changing the application criteria to conform with EU regulations. This year the government has reserved about EUR 145 million for discretionary energy subsidies, which will be channelled through the Ministry of Employment and the Economy and the regional Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment.

From the total, about EUR 100 million is directed to biorefinery projects producing vehicle fuel, and about EUR 23 million for renewable energy investments. Energy efficiency investments and reviews have been allocated EUR 15 million, and traffic research demonstration projects EUR 7 million.

Good news for wind, biogas and solar energy

The new guidelines make it easier for wind, biogas and solar projects to apply for the subsidy. Wind power projects are no longer required to have a new technology component and can apply on a case by case basis if the project cannot be included in the feed-in tariff system.

The subisidy can now be applied for biogas projects involving heat production as well as vehicle fuel. Solar power projects can now apply for the subsidies for new construction projects. However, the subsidy will no longer be available for investments in peat production equipment.

The discretionary subsidy can be granted to private companies (including international companies), municipalities and other associations for investment and research projects that are beneficial to the climate and the environment. The aim of the subsidy is to promote the production or use of renewable energy, increase energy savings, improve the efficiency of energy production or its use, and reduce the environmental problems it causes. The subsidy particularly aims to promote the adoption of new technology and its introduction to the market.

Sources: Ministry of Employment and the Economy, Tekniikka & Talous