The future of the energy system in many countries is characterised by a balance between centralised and distributed systems. Besides producing food, farms possess biomass and open space suitable for renewable energy (RE) production. This paper presents the agricultural, farm-level opportunities for fostering RE business in Finland. The timeframe for this scrutiny is until 2030, and the Delphi method is used to analyse the possibilities, barriers and solutions for growth. The results show that among national renewable energy and agricultural experts the most preferred energy sources for increasing RE business on farms were wood (including wood chips), biogas and solar photovoltaics (PV). When asked about the most likely development, wood and biogas remained, but solar PV was changed to ‘other farm-based biomass for burning’. The expert panel recognised the potential for RE business growth in agriculture, but easy access to the energy grid and refining incentives (both in the investment and production phases) for small-scale RE production were called for. Forerunners, pilots and new innovations were considered to foster the use of small-scale energy technologies. There was a clear hope that small-scale RE production on farms would not be based on heavy subsidies, but would grow as a market-based business.
Rikkonen, P., Tapio, P., & Rintamäki, H. (2019). Visions for small-scale renewable energy production on Finnish farms – A Delphi study on the opportunities for new business. Energy Policy, 129, 939–948. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.enpol.2019.03.004