“Although the share of renewable energy has grown in Finland according to the planned timetable, a great deal of work is still required to reach the objective. The share of wood energy from the renewables is 80%. In the future most of the increase will also come from wood biomass. Reaching the objective still also requires a significant investment into other energy sources. In the future the fastest growing markets will be in solar and wind power technologies,” says Markku Alm, sector director at the Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment for the Varsinais-Suomi region, which has compiled and published the renewable energy sector report on 14.11.2012.
“We should also not forget energy saving measures so that the obligation can be reached quicker, with total energy consumption falling.”
In 2011 the turnover of the renewable energy sector was EUR 905 million. The turnover increased by 14.4% from the previous year. The growth was held back by a decrease in industrial production and the warm weather at the end of the year. The sector employed 6188 people in 1371 workplaces. From the total number of companies, 94.5% were small companies with less than 10 employees.
The production of ethanol, biogas and wood diesel is still at an early development stage. In the future, the renewable energy sector will enable the creation of thousands of new jobs.
The biggest positive employment impact can be achieved in collection and transport logistics if the future use of wood biomass can be covered from domestic raw materials. The cost-efficiency of procurement and logistics chains is decisive when responding to foreign competition because from the perspective of the EU obligation it is not an issue whether domestic or foreign raw materials are used.
The renewable energy sector is a part of the Finnish agricultural and forest economy, the forest industry and the energy and environmental technology sector, and it has significant growth potential. The production plants of the sector also offer livelihoods and work to the rural areas outside the growth centres.