There are several barriers to achieving an energy system based entirely on renewable energy (RE) in Finland, not the least of which is doubt that high capacities of solar photovoltaics (PV) can be feasible due to long, cold and dark Finnish winters. Technologically, several energy storage options can facilitate high penetrations of solar PV and other variable forms of RE. These options include electric and thermal storage systems in addition to a robust role of Power-to-Gas technology. In an EnergyPLAN simulation of the Finnish energy system for 2050, approximately 45% of electricity produced from solar PV was used directly over the course of the year, which shows the relevance of storage. In terms of public policy, several mechanisms are available to promote various forms of RE. However, many of these are contested in Finland by actors with vested interests in maintaining the status quo
rather than by those without confidence in RE conversion or storage technologies. These vested interests must be overcome before a zero fossil carbon future can begin. The results of this study provides insights into how higher capacities of solar PV can be effectively promoted and managed at high latitudes, both north and south.
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