4 Sep (NucNet): Finland will introduce legislation in 2018 to phase out coal and increase carbon taxes with additional nuclear capacity from two new reactors offering an alternative fuel source, a government official has said.
Riku Huttunen, director-general of Finland’s Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, told Reuters that the current strategy is to get rid of coal by 2030 and that the process will be started by legislation due next year.
According to the International Energy Agency, Finland is highly dependent on imported fossil fuels – coal, oil and gas – with coal producing about 10% of the country’s consumption.
To cope with the gap left by coal, Finland will have to increase the amount of energy produced from other fuel sources, Mr Huttunen was quoted as saying.
Nuclear power could take up the slack as two new reactors – the Olkiluoto-3 EPR and the Russia-supplied Hanhikivi-1– are scheduled to come online in 2018 and 2024.
Finland wants to increase its energy security by relying less on imports. Around 70% of coal is imported from Russia.
According to the International Atomic Energy Agency, Finland’s four existing nuclear units at Olkiluoto and Loviisa accounted for almost 34% of electricity production in 2016.