Minister of Energy Kimmo Tiilikainen: Phasing out coal maybe already by 2025
“We will be investigating how to phase out coal in power generation in Finland already by 2025,” says Minister of the Environment, Energy and Housing Kimmo Tiilikainen.
The plan is to carry out the study as part of the ongoing legislative preparations that aim to phase out coal power by 2030, as outlined by the Government in the National Energy and Climate Strategy.
In recent years, city-owned energy companies have exceptionally increased the use of coal in their combined heat and power generation. It was one of the greatest sources of emissions in Finland in 2016.
“We should make it easier for energy companies to phase out coal power. We should revise our energy taxation already in 2019 to make natural gas more competitive than coal,” Tiilikainen proposes.
Although natural gas, too, is a fossil fuel, its emission factor is only about 60% of the emission factor for coal. Higher demand for the more competitive natural gas will also facilitate a stronger role for biogas in the energy market. In the long run, it will be possible to replace coal in district heat generation with renewable energy sources, such as biomass, biogas, geothermal heat and waste heat recovery.
Recent reports indicate the need to accelerate global investment to address climate change. Finland was one of the co-founders of the international Powering Past Coal Alliance.
“The EU, too, must reconsider its own emission reduction targets in the next few years. The greater the number of EU countries that decide to phase out coal power and the faster they do it, the easier it will be to increase the common emission reduction targets within the EU Emissions Trading System,” says Tiilikainen.
Vilhartti Hanhilahti, Special Adviser to the Minister of the Environment, Energy and Housing, tel. +358 40 836 4823
Petteri Kuuva, Industrial Counsellor, Ministry of Employment and the Economy, tel. +358 29 506 4819