While the whole Europe is currently facing an energy crisis, apparently Finland is one of few who don’t need to worry as much as other countries. The reason is because, according to a report, Finland’s wind energy capacity just grew by 75% last year.
The report published by Finnish Wind Energy Association (FWPA) even said that around half of the generated wind energy is domestically owned. This is a good thing to hear amidst cry for help from many other countries regarding the energy crisis they face.
It is interesting because the alternative to energy generated by fossil fuel is a greener energy. Yet during this energy crisis, the country even showed growth in the green energy generation. It shows how a commitment to make the world greener may lead to the unexpected.
Therefore, let’s talk further about this case and what can other country learn from Finland.
Not Impacting Finland
As the impact of declining energy production in the last few years, Europe nowadays is facing energy crisis. This condition is worsened by increasing demand for energy due to longer winter days as a result of climate change.
Post-pandemic economic rebound also contributes to the energy shortage. To boost their economy after a halt during the pandemic, a lot of countries consume more energy for their economic activities such as exporting their products.
Another thing that makes the crisis even worse in several countries is the European Union embargo on Russian fossil fuel products. This was meant to be a sanction to the country for its invasion to Ukraine. But apparently, not only the producer who is impacted as the consumers are also feeling the impacts.
Many big countries such as United Kingdom, Germany, Poland and Slovakia are suffering from this condition badly. Finland was supposed to be one of them as the country used to be fully dependent on Russian natural gas.
However, their commitment to go with greener energy instead of giving in to the situation paid off. They put 427 new wind turbines in 2022 alone, and in total makes the country has more than 1,300 wind turbines.
The Right Time
What makes this good news better is that it comes exactly when they need it. Finland used to depend on Russia for most of its gas and oil, with around three quarters of the country’s fossil fuel consumption was supplied by Russia.
It became a problem when European Union decided to embargo Russia for its invasion to Ukraine during the ongoing energy crisis. Fortunately, Finland decided to make a move, and it was the right move to take.
“Wind power is now increasing our country’s energy self-sufficiency at a really good pace – just when new and affordable electricity production is most needed,” Anni Mikkonen, CEO of the FWPA, told Euronews Green.
It was not a coincident, as the country itself decided to speed up their transition to greener energy for the last few years. The addition of 427 new wind turbines added around 2,500 megawatts of capacity to the country’s energy production.
In total, the country is now producing more than 5,600 megawatts of energy from more than 1,300 wind turbines. That amount of energy can independently power 5.5 million houses, which is a lot for a country with ‘only’ 5.5 million people population.
Investment for Finland
More than just independency of energy during this hard time, the county’s decision to plant more wind turbines was actually an investment. Only the addition they made in 2022 brought 2.9 billion Euros worth of investment!
“No other industry currently brings as many annual investment euros to Finland as wind power. Wind power also brings vitality to many small municipalities, where investment targets may otherwise be few,” Mikkonen said.
In addition to that, it can also be seen as a long term investment for far future. The downfall of renewable energy price keeps on going which means by converting early it means we can save even more money from energy consumption.
“No other electricity generation can be built in Finland as quickly and as cost-effectively right now,” Mikkonen said. The cost of renewable energy will keep on going down, while fossil fuel price is not showing such kind of trend for the last 140 years.
According to a study done by researchers at Oxford University, total conversion to green energy by 2050 will save the planet $12 trillion. Imagine what kind of other problems, like world hunger or diseases, we can solve if we have such amount of money.
Not Only Finland?
Such kind of good news actually coming not only from Finland. Other European countries are actually showing similar trend to the growth of green energy consumption. In example, solar energy alone has shown astonishing 50% growth in 2022 alone.
European Union has installed more than 41 Gigawatts of solar farm in 2022, which is equivalent to the energy we need to power more than 12 million homes. “No other energy source is growing as quickly or reliably as solar,” said Walburga Hemetsberger, the CEO of SolarPower.
And not only because it is a good alternative, but also because it is what they need. International Energy Agency who said that EU needs to add 60 GW more from solar energy to compensate for energy deficit caused by the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
In addition to that, renewable energy can also provide more jobs for people in this hard time. Wind energy, which currently power around 15% of Europe, can generate 300,000 jobs for people living in the continent.
From this, we can understand that green renewable energy can bring us much goodness. It is renewable, it is cheaper and getting more cheaper, it creates jobs, and it can help us during the hard time such as in an energy crisis.
At COP27, climate summit, nine countries of Belgium, Colombia, Germany, Ireland, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, the UK, and the US pledged to develop more offshore wind energy. They aim to reach at least 380 Gigawatts of capacity by 2030.
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