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Bioenergy decision-making of farms in Northern Finland: Combining the bottom-up and top-down perspectives


  • Snäkin, Juha-Pekka
  • Muilu, Toivo
  • Pesola, Tuomo


Finnish farmers' role as energy producers is small compared to their role as energy resource owners. Since climate and energy policy in Finland continues favoring large-scale energy visions, additional investment support for agriculture will stay modest. To utilize fully the energy potential in farms, we analyze the farmers' decision-making environment. First, we present an overview of the Finnish energy policy and economy and their effect on farms (the top-down perspective). Then we analyze the drivers behind the bioenergy decisions of farms in general and in the Oulu region, located in Northern Finland (the bottom-up perspective). There is weak policy coherence between national and regional energy efforts. Strong pressure is placed on farmers to improve their business and marketing knowledge, innovation and financial abilities, education level, and networking skills. In the Oulu region, bioenergy forerunners can be divided in three different groups - investors, entrepreneurs and hobbyists - that have different levels of commitment to their energy businesses. This further stresses the importance of getting quality business services from numerous service providers.

Suggested Citation

  • Snäkin, Juha-Pekka & Muilu, Toivo & Pesola, Tuomo, 2010. "Bioenergy decision-making of farms in Northern Finland: Combining the bottom-up and top-down perspectives," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(10), pages 6161-6171, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:38:y:2010:i:10:p:6161-6171

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bartle, Alison, 2002. "Hydropower potential and development activities," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(14), pages 1231-1239, November.
    2. Schilstra, Anne Jelle, 2001. "How sustainable is the use of peat for commercial energy production?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 285-293, November.
    3. Krabuanrat, K. & Phelps, R., 1998. "Heuristics and rationality in strategic decision making: An exploratory study," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 83-93, January.
    4. Jan-Erik Petersen, 2008. "Energy production with agricultural biomass: environmental implications and analytical challenges-super- †," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 35(3), pages 385-408, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Heiskanen, Eva & Jalas, Mikko & Juntunen, Jouni K. & Nissilä, Heli, 2017. "Small streams, diverse sources: Who invests in renewable energy in Finland during the financial downturn?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 191-200.
    2. Mikkola, Minna & Kahiluoto, Helena, 2011. "Socially Overlaid Networks as Key Actors in Green Energy Businesses in Rural Areas," 2011 International European Forum, February 14-18, 2011, Innsbruck-Igls, Austria 122017, International European Forum on System Dynamics and Innovation in Food Networks.

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    Agriculture Bioenergy Finland;


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