Finnish dependency on Russian energy – an energy security risk or a push towards more sustainable energy forms?
Mattila, Sanna A.
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Energy security has been a crucial concept in recent years, as an increasing demand for energy has resulted in many countries importing vast amounts of energy resources in order to satisfy growing demand. The purpose of this dissertation was to observe Finland and its energy dependence on Russia. Geographically, Finland sits between Europe and Russia, and in certain respects this geographical location has reflected onto Finnish politics and economics. Most definitely the location is reflected in Finnish history, as being situated between two vast empires that were simultaneously at times trying to claim the land as their own left Finland with a sense of pride in independence. These historical ties have thus left a mark on the Finnish cultural, economic and political landscape, as Finland is indeed often viewed as the corridor between Europe and Russia. Finland lacks domestic sources of fossil fuel energy, and as a result, has to import substantial amounts of petrol, natural gas, and other energy sources, such as uranium for nuclear power. Hence, Finland has created for herself a dependency on the import sources and indeed an issue of energy security. Moreover, as a result of a lack of indigenous fossil fuels resources, Finland has come to rely on vast amounts of growing nuclear power in order to produce enough energy for rising consumption and the carbon intensive industry, a matter that creates further energy safety concerns. However, Finland’s energy security is not, at the time of writing, endangered by Russian geopolitical actions of recent months. Nevertheless, the effects and extent of these geopolitical disturbances are as of yet unknown, and thus energy security must remain a priority for Finnish policymakers, as should the advancement of more sustainable forms of energy instead of nuclear and CO2 fossil fuel formats. The goal should indeed be to increase the efficiency of energy in order to make the best out of the renewable energy sources at hand, and to stop frivolous energy consumption, instead of creating further hazardous nuclear power plants, or a reliance on an unstable country for energy imports.
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