Finland considers ban on coal-fired power stations by 2030 - Rehn

by Reuters
Wednesday, 2 November 2016 20:45 GMT

A view shows power lines in Espoo, Finland, Dec. 12, 2013. REUTERS/Vesa Moilanen/Lehtikuva

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"Finland is well positioned to be among the first countries in the world to enact a law to ban coal," says minister

By Tuomas Forsell

HELSINKI, Nov 2 (Reuters) - Finnish government is considering banning all coal-fired power stations by 2030 to help meet emission reduction goals, Minister of Economic Affairs Olli Rehn said on Wednesday.

Coal-fired power generation accounted for 7 percent of all electricity production last year, with 45 percent coming from renewable sources and 34 percent from nuclear, according to Statistics Finland.

"Finland is well positioned to be among the first countries in the world to enact a law to ban coal ... This will be my proposal," Rehn told Reuters.

The ban, if approved by all coalition partners, would be part of the Nordic country's new energy strategy, which the centre-right government is due to present to parliament later this month.

"Giving up coal is the only way to reach international climate goals," Rehn said, adding that the move would also reinforce Finland's image as a "clean tech" country.

The government has previously said that it wants Finland to source more than half of its energy needs from renewables, and to halve the use of imported oil for domestic needs during the 2020s.

Last year Britain announced plans to phase out all its coal-fired power plants by 2025, other than any fitted with carbon capture and storage (CCS) systems.

Denmark is aiming to become fossil fuel-free by 2050, but it has no binding targets or bans for coal use.

(Additional reporting by Nerijus Adomaitis; Editing by Jussi Rosendahl, Greg Mahlich)

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