Possible bottlenecks in clean energy transitions : Overview and modelled effects – Case Finland

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Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
A1 Alkuperäisartikkeli tieteellisessä aikakauslehdessä
Date
2023-07-15
Major/Subject
Mcode
Degree programme
Language
en
Pages
15
Series
Journal of Cleaner Production, Volume 410
Abstract
Limiting the negative effects of human-induced global warming is the focus of climate policy worldwide. In the European Union (EU), the target for reaching carbon neutrality is set to 2050, including a proposed renewable energy target of 45% for 2030. In Finland, the government has pledged to reach net-zero emissions already by 2035, which is expected to require large increases in wind and nuclear capacity, as well as sector coupling with, e.g., transport and heating. In view of these plans, this study evaluates the feasibility of attaining carbon neutrality in Finland by 2035, while considering delays from potential bottlenecks, such as limited raw material availability, fuel availability, manufacturing capacity, and import reliance. The literature review highlights the considerable dependence of renewable technologies on critical raw materials and other minerals, largely imported from non-EU countries. Modelling revealed how increased biomass usage considerably reduces the size of national carbon sinks, vital for reaching net-zero emissions in Finland in the coming decade. In light of this, current climate strategy was shown to be partially outdated and short of reaching carbon neutrality by 2035, already without including potential delays from the analyzed bottlenecks. Subsequently, alternative measures to improve sustainability and reduce emissions are presented. The findings of this paper are also relevant for other countries aiming to reach net-zero emissions, especially for those which have climate strategies emphasizing bioenergy and wind power.
Description
| openaire: EC/H2020/856602/EU//FINEST TWINS Funding Information: Past research has modelled pathways to Finnish carbon neutrality using various optimization tools (Koljonen et al., 2022; Lehtilä et al., 2021; Ministry of the Environment Finland, 2022). However, even at international level, it is rare that studies would include assessments on the impact of potential bottlenecks in modelled energy system scenarios towards carbon neutrality. In its 2021 report on the role of critical minerals in clean energy transitions (IEA, 2021), the International Energy Agency (IEA) emphasized how growth in renewable energy technologies will exponentially increase demand for critical raw materials (CRMs) in the coming decade, while also highlighting supply chain risks following a concentrated global supply of raw materials. Other studies, such as a recent report by the European Commission, support the findings of the IEA by showing the importance of CRMs in several strategic technologies as well as in the energy sector (Bobba et al., 2020; Carrara et al., 2020). This article received funding from the European Commission through the H2020 project Finest Twins (grant No. 856602) and from the Academy of Finland, through the Profiling Funding 5 for Energy Storage project (grant No. 326346). Funding Information: This article received funding from the European Commission through the H2020 project Finest Twins (grant No. 856602 ) and from the Academy of Finland , through the Profiling Funding 5 for Energy Storage project (grant No. 326346 ). Publisher Copyright: © 2023 The Author(s)
Keywords
Biomass, Carbon sink, Critical raw materials (CRM), Energy policy, Renewable energy
Citation
Hyvönen , J , Koivunen , T & Syri , S 2023 , ' Possible bottlenecks in clean energy transitions : Overview and modelled effects – Case Finland ' , Journal of Cleaner Production , vol. 410 , 137317 . https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2023.137317