Effect of major policy disruptions in energy system transition: Case Finland

Sannamari Pilpola*, Peter D. Lund

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Finland has ambitious climate targets and intends to ban the use of coal and halve the oil use by 2030, mainly based on traditional forest biomass and nuclear power. These policy choices, however, encompass sizeable risks for a low-carbon energy transition. Here we investigate alternative pathways for disruptive risks from such policies based on massive introduction on variable renewable electricity (VRE) with intersectoral coupling through Power-to-X technologies (P2X), also considering future demand uncertainties. We analyzed several risk-involving scenarios for years 2030 and 2050 using a national energy system model with 1-h resolution, which includes power, heat and fuel sectors. The results indicate that even in case of worst-case energy policy risks with nuclear and bioenergy, a feasible energy system solution can be found. Renewable energy resources were employed to their maximum potential levels with P2X flexibility options, especially Power-to-Heat. However, without energy efficiency measures, the present renewable energy resource base was not able to compensate for all primary energy fall-out, which would lead to higher system costs and CO2 emissions. This implies that in case of high dominance of a few energy sources, an alternative pathway may require strong energy efficiency measures and developing further the renewable energy resource base.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-336
Number of pages14
JournalEnergy Policy
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Energy system modelling
  • Finland
  • Power-to-X
  • Renewable energy
  • Scenarios

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