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.)
of the Regional Review
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.
15 June 2007
Eco-efficient district heating and cooling with heat pumps