According to Statistics Finland, the turnover of Finnish industry decreased by 0.6 per cent in 2012.
"Globally, there is huge a demand for Finnish expertise in environmental technology, and the companies have been able to utilise their market potential. Central government has also made significant investments in supporting the growth of environmental business. In recent years, cleantech has been one of the few growth sectors in Finland overall, and one of the select few in which annual growth has been ten per cent or more," says Mari Pantsar-Kallio, Strategic Director of the Strategic Programme for Cleantech at the Ministry of Employment and the Economy.
Growth as high as 29 per cent is expected for the cleantech sector in 2013.
"The objective of the strategic programme by the Ministry of Employment and the Economy is to increase turnover in the cleantech sector to EUR 50 billion and to create 50,000 new jobs by 2020. To achieve this goal, an annual growth of approximately 15 per cent is necessary. Based on research, we have now reached this level," Mari Pantsar-Kallio states.
"Many companies are looking to the cleantech market for new growth and wish to develop their products and expertise in this direction. Tekes is making significant investments in the development of new cleantech solutions for the global market. In addition to funding, we provide companies with help in areas such as internationalisation and improving the focus of their business plans," explains Teija Lahti-Nuuttila the Director of Energy and Environment Industries in Tekes.
Energy efficiency and renewable energy
Energy efficiency has traditionally been Finland’s most significant strong point in the cleantech sector. Out of Finnish cleantech companies, 59 per cent work with solutions related to energy efficiency, accounting for more than a third of the turnover in the sector.
In more than half of the companies, business is also associated with the production, transfer and distribution of renewable energy.
"Finland can now benefit from decades of looking for ways to reduce heating costs and seeking alternatives to expensive imported fuel on the level of both companies and the society as a whole. This type of expertise now has a huge market out in the world," says Santtu Hulkkonen, Executive Director of Cleantech Finland.
"As for renewable energy, we still have a lot to do in Finland if we wish to get our domestic market to function effectively and thus ensure international competitiveness for the sector," Hulkkonen adds.
Research report on the project Cleantech industry in Finland 2013 at SlideShare: link