Finland's government has set out a bold target of reducing Finnish dependence on foreign fossil fuels, by halving oil imports and increasing the share of renewable fuels use to 40 percent by 2030. With its new programme the Finnish goverment seeks to generate more jobs and exports in the biofuel field. At the moment, only 8 percent of the fuel used in transport in Finland comes from renewable raw materials.
“I think that’s achievable – particularly in a country like Finland where we’ve been doing research and development in biofuels for a long time and where we have some of the world’s biggest players in this sector,” says Kaisa Hietala, Executive Vice President, Renewable Products at Neste, quoted by Finnish media.
“In Finland, the use of various kinds of forest biomass is a very interesting area that’s being studied right now,” Hietala says.
Already, Finnish forestry giants such as UPM, started commercial production of wood-based renewable diesel. In this respect, the company has build a biorefinery in UPM Lappeenranta which produces 120 million litres of renewable UPM diesel yearly. Since May, UPM started to sell its diesel fuel at pumps in Finland.
The Finnish Petroleum and Biofuels Association approves the goverment's programme, saying that the statements about renewable energy are bold and commendable. Recently the association changed its name from Finnish Petroleum Federation. The industry group says that domestically-produced biofuels are suited to Finland’s distribution system and current automotive stock are the most effective way to cut transport emissions.