Finnish government debates renewable energy options

wind-powerThe Finnish government is compiling a renewable energy support package which could inject a billion euros into environmentally friendly power.

The existing proposals put aside 170 million euros a year each, for bio fuels, wind power and wood chip technology. While divisions remain within the Finnish government over the details of any package, an agreement is expected to be reached in weeks, reports YLE.

Mauri Pekkarinen, the Minister for Economic Affairs, is campaigning for support for the renewable energy sector to remain separate from new license grants for further nuclear reactors. Pekkarinen said an agreement over renewable energy should be reached before further consideration could be given to how many nuclear reactors are required.

Pekkarinen supports the addition of one new reactor, whereas his National Coalition cabinet colleagues are hoping that all three pending licenses will be granted. The National Coalition believe that the two issues are interwoven and have demaded assurances from Finnish Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen that a cabinet majority will support the nuclear programme before agreeing to any energy policy decisions. The Greens are vehemetly opposed to any further expansion of the country’s nuclear power production capacity.

Finland has agreed to an EU commitment to increase renewable energy resources to 38 percent of its total energy production by 2020. In the most recent report in 2005, the renewable energy share was below 30 percent.

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