Helsinki - a home for eco-efficient co-generation

An Expert's View about Energy in Finland

Posted on: 9 May 2010

In the City of Helsinki, district heat, district cooling and electricity are produced on a large scale in a single process.

19 December 2008 The City of Helsinki in winter. Photo: Ilkka Pohjanpalo Helsinki - a home for eco-efficient co-generation Helsinki Energy, City of Helsinki?s energy company, possesses unique capabilities and know-how, which make it the world leader in co- generation and energy efficiency. In Helsinki, district heat, district cooling and electricity are produced on a large scale in a single process. This was said in the argumentations as Helsinki Energy?s eco-efficient co-generation was awarded in November 2008 the European Regional Champion Award in the category of Energy Champion by the European Martti Hyvönen, Parliament?s Committee of the Regions. Environmental Director, Helsinki Energy, and Martin Beck (l.) Publisher of the Regional Review magazine. In addition, Helsinki Energy was also acknowledged this year by the International Energy Agency IEA (see article). The IEA report awarded Finland with the highest possible number of points and commends Helsinki Energy as an outstanding example. In Helsinki, district heat, district cooling and electricity are produced on a large scale in a single process. Since decades, Helsinki Energy has been a forerunner in co-generation efficiency and in producing district heat with co-generation. The company started district heating operations in Helsinki in 1953, and today district heating covers more than 93 percent of the heating energy demand. More than 90 percent of all City of Helsinki buildings are heated with co-generated district heat. Helsinki Energy not only generates heating energy for the city, it also feeds electricity to the national grid. The efficiency rate of fuel consumption exceeds 90 percent. District cooling becoming standard Besides co-generation, Helsinki Energy also uses the technology to produce district cooling, setting a world standard. Helsinki Energy's model has been accepted as a Best Available Technology (BAT) by the EU. In the summer, unused district heat from power generation, which would otherwise be led to the sea, is utilized in district cooling with absorption chillers. The plant utilizes both the heat from purified wastewater and directly the heat of sea water. District cooling increases the efficiency of combined heat and power plants. ""We will continue to strive for further improvements in our energy system, for instance, in strongly emphasizing efficiency and in the whole energy chain, from consumption to production," says Dr. Martti Hyvönen, Environmental Director, Helsinki Energy. Helsinki Energy produces electricity and district heating for the Helsinki metropolitan area primarily at local power stations, the advantages of combined production often leading to a fuel consumption efficiency rate exceeding 90%. Spesific CO2 emissions in energy production. In addition, other emissions have decreased. Since 1990s, air quality in Helsinki has improved considerably. Towards renewable energy sources Helsinki Energy produces electricity and district heating for the Helsinki metropolitan area primarily at local power stations using natural gas and coal as fuels. But the company has a comprehensive testing program underway to utilize wood pellets and forest residues for co-combustion. Since 2007, Helsinki Energy has participated in implementation of a major multifuel power plant based on the latest technology and launched by Pohjolan Voima, where the proportion of renewable energy is maximized and carbon capture investigated. Helsinki Energy has also hydropower capacity in four hydropower plants of its subsidiaries and associated companies, and also a small amount of wind power capacity. Aiming for big wind farms Together with a Finnish energy company, Etelä-Pohjanmaan Voima Oy, Helsinki Energy aims to build two wind farms of a significant size 500 ? 1,000 MW off the coasts of the Gulf of Bothnia and the Gulf of Finland. The company also is involved in solar energy utilization and fuel cell development for co-generation application. In an energy-efficient apartment building at Helsinki's Eco-Viikki, the solar panels produce 20 percent of common electricity consumption in the premises excepting individual household use. On sunny days when e.g. staircase lighting is not needed, the excess solar power is conducted to Helsinki Energy´s distribution grid. More information: Helsinki Energy Related article: 15 June 2007 Eco-efficient district heating and cooling with heat pumps
Posted: 09 May 2010

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