Kainuu feasibility study on alternative mobility & fuels: a tool to reinforce the Kainuu action plan (part 2)

Promoting the use of alternative fuels and electric vehicles in Kainuu

(read part 1 here)

The main points of the legislation in the EU on alternative fuels

Revised directive 2018/2001 (RED II, the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources) sets: “The share of renewable energy within the final consumption of energy in the transport sector is at least 14 % from 2005 to 2030”. Finland’s goal is 30 % by 2030.

There are two remarkable directives in EU that affect alternative fuels and electric vehicles mobility. These two directives will be transposed into Finnish national law in 2021. The first is revised directive 2009/33/EC (the promotion of clean and energy-efficient road transport vehicles) which shows that electric vehicles are in own category and the other alternative fuels (biodiesel, hydrogen, natural gas) are in another category. If a municipality buys a passenger car, it must be a plug-in hybrid or an electric car, and only electric cars or hydrogen cars are allowed after 2025. If a municipality buys city buses before 2025, 41 % of buses must use 100 % alternative fuels and half of them must be electric buses. The percent is 59 % after 2025 and the demands are the same. If a municipality buys trucks before 2025, 9 % of trucks must use 100 % alternative fuels and the same number is 15 % after 2025. This directive takes effect in the national law on the first of August in 2021 or earlier. The other directive is 2018/844 on the energy performance of buildings. The directive sets when charging points must be installed on parking places of buildings. This takes effect in the national law in 2020-21.

Legislation in Finland in a nutshell

Finland has targets which have been written by law. The distribution obligation of biocomponent in transport fuels has been set. The biofuels' share of transport fuels rises in a linear fashion from 20 % to 30 % from 2020 to 2030.

The previous Finnish Government (called Sipilä’s Government, in 2015-2019) set a target for numbers of biogas cars (50 000) and electric cars (250 000) including battery electric vehicles (BEV), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) and hydrogen vehicles (H2V) in Finland by 2030. If the target is shared to Kainuu after population, it is 670 biogas cars and 3 350 electric cars approximately in Kainuu by 2030.

The Finnish Government (in 2019) has written in the government program carbon neutral Finland. That means higher targets. If Finland want to be carbon neutral by 2035, it demands according to the scenario 138 000 biogas cars, 730 000 electric cars (included plug-in hybrids) and 20 000 hydrogen cars by 2030. That means 1 850 biogas cars, 9 800 electric cars and 270 hydrogen cars in Kainuu by 2030.

Next steps in Kainuu

Kainuu is “a back-runner” of alternative fuels and it must catch up rest of Finland. If Kainuu wants to be carbon neutral by 2035, the target demands 1 850 biogas cars, 9 800 electric cars (included plug-in hybrids) and 270 hydrogen cars in Kainuu by 2030. In Finland that means 138 000 biogas cars, 730 000 electric cars (included plug-in hybrids) and 20 000 hydrogen cars.

Kainuu should focus on alternative fuels as follows :

(1) BIOGAS: starting biogas project(s)  
  • founding a biogas station or a natural gas station
  • collecting farm gas
  • updating the investigation of the biogas plant made in 2015
  • supporting tourist entrepreneurs to install charging points by local projects
  • getting public/semi-public institutions and municipalities to buy electric cars
  • starting the project of synthetic fuel (Q Power Oy / CRI)

The alternative fuels strategy for Kainuu appears to be inextricably linked to alternative energy strategy as a whole because Kainuu is both end user and also supplier of alternative energy. An optimum strategy for reaching and maintaining the decarbonization standards appears to be a combination of :

  • further research into biogas
  • acquirement of electric vehicles through public procurement
  • ensuring charging and refill stations for alternative fuel cars, especially the through traffic
  • action on synthetic fuels.

Putting results into practice

The Regional Council of Kainuu is presenting the process and results of the feasibility study to the regional stakeholders and the options agreed, will become part of the regional strategy and of the forthcoming structural funds programme.

More information about the eMOPOLI project in Kainuu 

- Jouni Ponnikas, Regional Development Director, GSM +358 40 574 0804, jouni.ponnikas (at) kainuu.fi

- Ninetta Chaniotou, Project Manager, GSM +358 50 402 6921, ninetta.chaniotou (at) kainuunetu.fi

More information about the feasibility study

Tuomas Niskanen, Project Researcher, GSM +358 50 523 3007, tuomas.niskanen (at) oulu.fi