Column : Imagined in Helsinki
Admittedly, the Finns consume 12 times more energy per capita than Indians. But, besides coping with a harshly cold climate, they are forced to import nearly all of their fossil fuels—with all of their natural gas coming through the Russian interconnection. Energy independence is, therefore, a key renewables driver. The second one is also a factor of geography. With 70% of the country still under forest cover, Finland has historically been heavily reliant on heavy energy industries. Even Nokia started life as a paper producer in 1866. So it was no wonder that the lakes that cover nearly one-tenth of the country became heavily polluted by the 1970s. The wonder is that they are much cleaner today, thanks to a host of regulatory interventions and innovations since “the bad old days”. Pollution loads from industry, municipal waste and agriculture have been effectively reduced by means of biological treatment plants, separation technologies, advanced processing of biomasses etc, with positive spin-offs like consuming less freshwater and creating reusable water. The wonder is also that a lot of
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