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Finland, Türkiye could co-op in renewable, nuclear energy: Official

Finnish Climate and Environment Minister Kai Mykkanen advocated Thursday for clean energy technology and expertise exchange with Türkiye, including renewable energy and nuclear waste management, highlighting his country’s reach in the clean energy sector.

Mykkanen told Anadolu Agency (AA) that Finland could offer assistance to Türkiye given Finland’s pioneering 40-year experience in nuclear energy and suggested research and development (R&D) collaboration given Finland’s aim of becoming a clean industry hub, including hydrogen.

“With the recent operation of the Olkiluoto 3 nuclear power unit, Finland has significantly increased its nuclear power share to over 40% of total electricity production. This commitment not only enhances Finland’s energy security but also plays a crucial role in achieving ambitious climate goals, as over 90% of Finland’s electricity production is now fossil-free,” he explained.

The energy crisis of the last couple of years has shown the importance of nuclear energy in providing affordable, clean and stable energy, the minister said.

He disclosed that Finland still needs more nuclear power, and to this end, it plans to reform the national Nuclear Energy Act by 2026 to facilitate the construction of small modular reactors (SMRs), reflecting the country’s forward-thinking and adaptable strategy with a high public approval rate of close to 70% for nuclear energy.

“Finland is already a forerunner of renewable energy and nuclear energy and I believe we have excellent opportunities to become a major global player in clean energy in the future,” Mykkanen said.

​”Trade, imports and exports can be increased between Türkiye’s strong energy-intensive industry and the Finnish industry. Additionally, this may also provide opportunities for future cooperation through mutual forums within the scope of R&D cooperation,” he added.

In addition to nuclear energy, Mykkanen said Finland has been aggressively expanding wind generation.

“The share of renewable energy is already higher than the share of fossil energy in the energy mix. Our electricity production is already more than 90% non-fossil and emission-free,” he said.

The Finnish government has set an ambitious target for offshore wind power capacity additions by 2035, offering huge investment potential.

“We have also moved to self-sufficiency in terms of electricity demand on an annual basis. In 2023, this proportion was already almost 98%,” he noted.

Finland has rapidly and successfully broken away from Russian energy after February 2022, which he explained was made possible through a good level of preparedness, consistent action and ensuring a broad energy mix.

Replacement Western supply chains for electricity and nuclear fuel have been found, and only marginal supplies of liquified natural gas (LNG) are imported from Russia, he said.

The Finnish energy system proved its resilience last year, as after the energy crisis in 2022, Finland succeeded in phasing out Russian fossil energy supplies.

“We have diversified energy supply routes and significantly increased domestic electricity generation capacity. Imports of electricity from Russia have been replaced with Olkiluoto 3 NPP and wind power,” he said.

Electricity prices, although volatile due to increased wind power production, have also dropped, with the average spot market power price ranking as the second cheapest out of EU member states.

The leasing of the floating LNG terminal vessel in Inkoo, which started operating in January last year, enabled Finland to break away from its dependence on Russian pipeline gas and proved successful when the gas pipeline connection between Finland and Estonia was damaged in October 2023.

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