The importance of solar power is growing year by year

The importance of solar power is growing year by year

Even though the share of solar power in Finland’s electricity production is still relatively small, its growth potential is enormous and its importance is emphasised when it comes to building a more sustainable and low-emission future.

Solar power will be an important energy source in Finland in the near future, although geographical factors present their own challenges. This year, solar power will account for more than one percent of total electricity production, up from just two per mille five years ago. As technology develops and the efficiency of solar panels increases, solar power production is constantly becoming more attractive and profitable also in large parts of Finland.

Hydrogen economy highlights the importance of solar power

Solar power is particularly important in the hydrogen economy. The sun can generate electricity that can be used for hydrogen production, even when the blades of wind turbines are not rotating.  Hydrogen can then be utilised for energy storage and transport, as well as as a raw material in many industrial processes, which, in turn, contributes to a carbon-neutral energy system.

Solar power reduces emissions from electricity production and offers more discreet opportunities for the regional production of renewable electricity. Solar panels do not rise more than a few meters in the landscape and can be placed on land with little other use. Solar power reduces the dependency on imported electricity and increases self-sufficiency in energy production.

The development of solar power also creates new jobs and contributes to economic growth, both directly and indirectly. Stable and abundant renewable electricity production attracts investments, and even energy-intensive activities can become emission-free.

Decisive action and a common vision are needed

The old truth is that the sun sets in the west. Those of us working with solar power have a strong feeling that it is not yet time for that sunset, but, in fact, we have only just begun. Finland has significant amounts of wasteland and under-utilised land that is ideally suited for solar power production. In addition, production conditions are quite favourable for solar power in a large part of the country.

The slump in industrial demand for electricity shown in Energiateollisuus’ 2023 statistics does not provide a picture of the future electricity demand in Finland. A prerequisite for the hydrogen economy, which is of paramount importance for the Finnish economy, is a massive increase in the production of clean electricity. A stable electricity system is based on versatile production and a functioning transmission and distribution network.

In order to be at the forefront of the hydrogen economy in the coming years and to maximise the benefits it brings to our country, we need decisive measures to streamline permitting practices, equitable regulation of renewable energy and, of course, a bold entrepreneurial spirit and a shared view of the importance of solar power by the government, municipalities and landowners.

Vikke Saarelainen

(The text was initially published in Satakunnan Kansa as an opinion piece in the “Lukijalta” column on 29 March 2024)


Get in touch!
Vikke Saarelainen
Vikke Saarelainen
Executive Vice President