According to Statistics Finland's preliminary data, the consumption of hard coal decreased by 25% last year compared to 2018.
The consumption of hard coal as a fuel in the generation of electricity and heat amounted to 2.3 million tonnes, corresponding to 60 petajoules in energy content. Compared to the average for the 2000s, the consumption of hard coal was 47% lower. Compared to the average of the past five years, 21% less hard coal was consumed.
Source: Statistics Finland.
The use of hard coal decreased most in the third quarter of the year, when consumption was 45% lower than in the year before. In the fourth quarter, 25% less hard coal was consumed than in the corresponding period of the year before.
The consumption of hard coal has decreased in combined heat and power production, separate production of electricity and manufacturing. In addition, the use of hard coal was completely discontinued in some plants’ boilers in 2019.
Hard coal consumption in Finland typically fluctuates seasonally. Some of the fluctuation is explained by the natural variation in the need for electricity and heat between the summer and winter seasons.
The difference between statistical reference years is explained by variations in the demand for heating energy and the Nordic water situation, which particularly influences the electricity exchange price and thus the demand for separate production of electricity as well. Therefore, long-term consumption development cannot be deducted from the change in hard coal consumption in successive years.
At the end of December, the stocks of coal amounted to 1.8 million tonnes. Compared with one year back, the stocks were 11% lower.