Developing national policies to ensure energy security and sustainable development is not an easy task. Economic and environmental aspects and constraints of alternative energy scenarios must be properly investigated before the guidelines of an energy policy can be drawn. In this study, the main environmental and economic costs of electricity production in Finland were evaluated by exploring the performance of different technologies at plant scale as well as their load at national level. Alternative scenarios for Finland’s energy future (year 2025 and 2050) were also drawn and compared with the reference year 2008. The comparative analysis of the results shows that, by considering the price of an emission permit of 25 s/t CO2 for the fossil fuel-based technologies, the production cost of electricity by means of natural gas, coal, and peat power plants increases considerably, reaching 67, 68, and 74 s/MWh, respectively. These figures highlight the profitability of renewable energy sources in the near future. The CO2 emissions confirmed a major environmental load placed by fossil fuel (coal, gas) and peat power plants with values ranking from 1.11 to 0.76 t CO2/MWh. The Gross Energy Requirement (GER) per joule of electricity produced (Je) showed better figures for hydropower (0.04 J/Je), wind (0.13 J/Je), and nuclear (0.26 J/Je) while at national level a major economic and environmental load was placed by combined heat and power plant, nuclear, and coal power plants. Finally, the scenarios for Finland’s energy future explored two main alternatives: a) major increase of nuclear power, b) major increase of renewable energy sources. In both cases, further investigations are needed to ensure a future energy policy deeply rooted in the principles of sustainable development and able to cope with post-carbon society.

ENVIRONMENTAL AND ECONOMIC COSTS OF ENERGY PRODUCTION IN FINLAND

FRANZESE, Pier Paolo
2010

Abstract

Developing national policies to ensure energy security and sustainable development is not an easy task. Economic and environmental aspects and constraints of alternative energy scenarios must be properly investigated before the guidelines of an energy policy can be drawn. In this study, the main environmental and economic costs of electricity production in Finland were evaluated by exploring the performance of different technologies at plant scale as well as their load at national level. Alternative scenarios for Finland’s energy future (year 2025 and 2050) were also drawn and compared with the reference year 2008. The comparative analysis of the results shows that, by considering the price of an emission permit of 25 s/t CO2 for the fossil fuel-based technologies, the production cost of electricity by means of natural gas, coal, and peat power plants increases considerably, reaching 67, 68, and 74 s/MWh, respectively. These figures highlight the profitability of renewable energy sources in the near future. The CO2 emissions confirmed a major environmental load placed by fossil fuel (coal, gas) and peat power plants with values ranking from 1.11 to 0.76 t CO2/MWh. The Gross Energy Requirement (GER) per joule of electricity produced (Je) showed better figures for hydropower (0.04 J/Je), wind (0.13 J/Je), and nuclear (0.26 J/Je) while at national level a major economic and environmental load was placed by combined heat and power plant, nuclear, and coal power plants. Finally, the scenarios for Finland’s energy future explored two main alternatives: a) major increase of nuclear power, b) major increase of renewable energy sources. In both cases, further investigations are needed to ensure a future energy policy deeply rooted in the principles of sustainable development and able to cope with post-carbon society.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11367/16578
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