Finnish industry opposes EU’s solar panel plans

(EurActiv, 31 May 2022) The European Commission’s plans to favour and enforce the instalment of solar panels on commercial properties and public buildings is reminiscent of an old-style planned economy, the Finnish industry and trade sectors say.

The aim of the REPowerEU plan, launched by the European Commission in March, is to speed up the green transition and cut ties to Russian energy imports. One element of the programme, worth more than €26 billion of the €300 billion plan, would see business properties and public buildings with a roof area larger than 250 square metres have solar panels installed by 2027. The requirement would be extended to all new residential buildings by 2029.

However, Finland’s business sector sees such obligations as necessary and reminiscent of an old-style planned economy, comments compiled by Uusi Suomi show.

“Increasing energy efficiency is absolutely a positive thing, but we are still not believing in forced obligations,” Jari Kostama, the Director of Finnish Energy, said in the Uusi Suomi reportage. On saving energy, Kostama also said he would put his faith in the industry, noting that massive investments would also increase dependency on China.

Calling for flexibility, recommendations rather than obligations, and non-committal measures, the Chief Policy Advisor on Energy and Climate at The Confederation of Finnish Industries (EK) Kati Ruohomäki said the Commission’s schemes concentrate too much on the energy consumption of individual member states. Instead, she would focus on containing carbon dioxide emissions.

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EurActiv, 31 May 2022: Finnish industry opposes EU’s solar panel plans