Finland: Horse manure plan to heat homes

Three horses sticking their heads out of their stable doors Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Home heaters: Finland's horses are proving useful by simply doing what comes naturally

Finland's government wants the country to turn away from fossil fuels and look towards horse manure to heat its homes instead, it's reported.

The new coalition's manifesto sets out plans for the large-scale use of horse dung as a renewable source of energy, the national broadcaster Yle reports. One energy company is already trying out a biofuel made by mixing horse manure with a wood-based litter, which is then burned to create power. The Fortum group says the annual waste created by three horses would be enough to heat a family home for a year. And with about 77,000 horses in Finland, there's the potential for more than 20,000 homes to become completely manure-warmed.

Ministers want the country to stop using coal and to halve its consumption of imported oil in the coming decade, and they are looking for ways to plug the energy gap. But as Yle points out, using horse dung for energy would also solve a growing problem for stables - how to dispose of their animals' waste. Its use as a fertiliser is already prohibited on fields that drain into waterways, and soon horse owners won't be allowed to take it to dumps either. From 2016, Finland is implementing a ban on taking organic waste to landfill sites.

Next story: Russian bishop blesses city from hot air balloon

Use #NewsfromElsewhere to stay up-to-date with our reports via Twitter.

Related Topics