Energy consumption decreased in 2022, with the total consumption being 1.3 million terajoules, which was five percent less than in 2021. The last significant decrease in energy consumption was in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to a decrease in industrial energy use, among other factors.
Several factors contributed to the decrease in energy consumption in 2022, according to Aleksi Sandberg, a senior statistician at Statistics Finland.
Mild weather reduced the need for heating, especially in the early part of the year. In addition, there was a paperworkers' strike from January to April that reduced the burning of black liquor, a byproduct of the pulp industry, for energy.
The effects of the Russian aggression also affected energy consumption, with natural gas consumption almost halving following the cessation of supplies from Russia in May. The increase in electricity prices also contributed to the decrease in electricity demand.
Electricity consumption decreased by six percent compared to the previous year. Along with the rise in electricity prices, a nationwide electricity conservation campaign may have contributed to the more economical use of electricity.
Renewable energy sources remained at the same level as the previous year, accounting for about 42 percent of the total energy consumed. The quantity of renewable energy consumption decreased by five percent compared to the previous year, with the use of wood fuels decreasing by eight percent. In contrast, wind power production increased significantly by 41 percent.
"Wind power production reached a new record last year. Wind power's share of the total electricity consumption increased significantly from previous years and was now 14.1 percent. The growth in wind power production is primarily due to the increase in wind power capacity in Finland," Sandberg explained.
Nuclear power production also increased significantly last year. The total amount of nuclear energy produced, 264 terajoules, was the largest ever in statistical history, increasing by seven percent from the previous year.
"The growth was due to Olkiluoto 3, which was connected to the national electricity grid in March when the plant's trial operation began," Sandberg added.
The use of fossil fuels and peat decreased in 2022. Fossil fuels accounted for 33.7 percent of the total energy consumption, the smallest share since the 1950s. In addition to natural gas, coal consumption also decreased.
However, there was a seven percent increase in the use of coal, with lower-quality sub-bituminous coal being used as a substitute for energy from both natural gas and wood due to the energy crisis caused by the Russian aggression. The decrease in electricity imports also contributed to the increase in coal consumption.
In conclusion, the decrease in energy consumption in 2022 was attributed to several factors, including mild weather, a paperworkers' strike, and the effects of the Russian aggression. However, renewable energy production, particularly wind power, continued to grow, while nuclear power production also increased significantly. The use of fossil fuels and peat decreased, but the energy crisis caused by the Russian aggression led to an increase in the use of coal.
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