Ministry report downplays need for more nuclear energy
Demand for electricity to grow faster in Finland than in EU on average
The Ministry of Employment and the Economy expects electricity consumption in Finland to grow slightly faster in Finland than in the European Union on average.
However, in its forecast for demand for electricity through 2030, the ministry says that Finland will not need to build several new nuclear reactors in the future.
The forecast assumes that in the coming two decades, Finland will have strong economic growth, but that the recession, and the decline of Finland’s forest industry will have cut electricity consumption so much that it will not be before 2030 at the earliest that demand for electricity by Finnish industry will return to the level that it was in 2007.
The assessment brought mixed reactions in Parliament.
The National Coalition Party, which has promoted a policy of security cheap energy for Finnish industry, saw no reason to change its previous calls for more nuclear electricity. The new assessment is seen by the party as one more estimate among many.
The Centre Party and the Greens saw the assessment as supporting their contention that there is no hurry to decide on the construction of a new nuclear reactor, and that decisions can easily be postponed.
A comparison between the ministry’s energy report and a survey by the International Energy Agency indicates that growth in electricity consumption will be slightly greater in Finland than in the EU as a whole.
The IEA report, which was published on Tuesday, predicts that electricity consumption will increase by an average 0.9 per cent from 2007-2030.
The Finnish Ministry of Employment and the Economy predicts that Finnish annual consumption will grow from 80 terawatt hours (TWh) to 100 TWh in 2030, which is slightly faster than in the EU on average.
However, it should be kept in mind that this year’s consumption is exceptionally low, considering that the recession and the decline of the forest industry have led to an 11 per cent decline in electricity consumption in the past two years. In 2007, total electricity consumption in Finland was 90 TWh, so much of the projected growth would be a rebound following a recent sharp decline.
Previously in HS International Edition:
Fennovoima model of two smaller nuclear reactors interests decision-makers (26.10.2009)
Date of completion for Olkiluoto III nuclear plant still anybody’s guess (19.11.2009)
Ministry of Employment and the Economy press release: Ministry estimates: Growth trend in electricity consumption levelling off
International Energy Agency: World Energy Outlook 2009 launched in London