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Yle: Cabinet Ponders Support for Renewable Energy

A financial package valued at 170 million euros annually aimed at supporting renewable energy was presented before the Finnish cabinet for the first time on Wednesday evening. Although differences persist within government ranks on the details, an announcement on energy policy is expected within the coming weeks.
Government sources indicate the support package is almost ready for such renewable energy projects as wind power, bio fuels and wood chips.

Minister for Economic Affairs, Mauri Pekkarinen wants to separate support for renewable energy from the issue of granting new licenses for additional nuclear reactors. It wants agreement on renewable energy before discussing how many new reactors are needed.

The slow Finnish consensus parliament has finally got its act together - at least partly. We are in for a downpour of initiatives over the next few weeks. At the end of this month there'll be a conference of the SHOKs or Strategic Centers of Excellence. These are industry/research institution cooperative projects that aim to improve the innovation chain in various energy and environment technology sectors.

Finland has been already, for a couple decades, one of the highest R&D&I state spenders as a % GDP = 3.4 - 3.7 %. Corporate R&D spend is also large. However it makes sense to coordinate the research with academia, because many companies do not have the best talent in their R&D departments, and the sort of cross-industry innovation needed is not being produced in more narrowly focused corporate R&D.

Smart Grids for instance, (one of the current hot topics) require input from ICT, heavy electrical engineering, and all the intermittent and other alternative energy technologies. Only state money can create and fund this kind of multidisciplinary research because there are no corporations or even sectors of corporations that have the skills and motivation needed.

The Super-Mauri roadshow has just begun...

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Apr 14th, 2010 at 04:18:00 PM EST
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