Finland is most likely to achieve carbon neutrality by 2035 and carbon negativity soon after by heavily investing in onshore wind farms, according to the latest report by the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra.
The switch recommended by the report would see fossil fuels used in industry, transport and heating fully replaced by zero-emission electricity. The body suggests that cleanly produced hydrogen or sustainable biomass be used instead of fossil raw materials in cases where it's not possible to switch to clean electricity
Electricity consumption is expected to almost double by 2050, and Sitra's report sees that the most cost-efficient way to cover increased production is onshore wind power.
"To meet the rise in consumption, Finland’s electricity generation capacity would need to more than triple from the current level of about 20 gigawatts to more than 70 gigawatts by 2050," Sitra's press release reads, adding that "in the main scenario, most of the new generation would be onshore wind power, which is a cheaper way to produce electricity than other zero-emission generation technologies."
A 'wind power generation' would however require flexibility both in electricity generation and consumption. This could also translate into fluctuations in consumers' electricity bills.
"However, the overall energy bill for the consumer will be slightly smaller compared to the current situation when less fossil fuel is used," Janne Peljo, Sitra's Project Director, told Yle.
Large scale investments would also be needed in electricity storage, such as in hydrogen and battery technology, and good transmission connections within Finland and its neighbouring countries, the report adds.
Published on Tuesday, the report aimed to offer clear, clean energy solutions for the government to take into account when discussing its latest climate strategy. The report's authors further added that ramping up wind power for a green transition will require a 'clear vision.'
"To make the electrification of the energy system possible, the necessary prerequisites must be in order. Now decision-makers need to have a clear outlook of the future," Peljo said.
Sitra's report was conducted by an international working group that included modellers and consultants from the Compass Lexecon and Enerdata consultancies along with researchers from Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology.