ICT for promoting sustainable development
|In 1950s Finland's process industry, especially pulp and paper industry, and related machinery industry started to use automation, measuring and analyzing systems to improve international competitiveness.
Since 1980s, Finland has invested heavily in developing and utilization of ICT, and it has been ranked many times first or in the top 10 in the terms of technology usage by its citizens, businesses and the government.
The ICT investments lifted Finland up out of deep recession in the1990s and supported Nokia to become world’s leader in mobile phones.
Today, the Finnish top expertise includes:
*intelligent automation and information management systems as well as optimization solutions for process and the energy industry;
*distributed networked automation for reliable distributed energy production;
*measuring, analysis and monitoring air, water and soil;
*detection of floods and landslides, assessment of forest resources and and enhancing road safety.
The overall concern for environmental issues has resulted in a growing demand to develop new monitoring systems so that the state of the environment can be assessed in a reliable manner.
Wider application of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) - including measurements, analysis and automation - to global industry and infrastructure would reduce emissions as much as 15 percent by 2020, according to a report from The Climate Group and the Global e-Sustainability Initiative.
Finnish Society of Automation
Self-healing power grids to become a reality
A big step towards self-healing grids has been taken with a pilot installation in a grid area in Finland. With innovative solution virtually all earth faults could be located in extensive field tests. The solution can also locate short transient faults, which are most commonly caused by a tree branch that has dropped on the conductor or is touching the conductor due to wind or snowfall. Ideally the fault can be located even before the outage.
Balancing of power production and consumption
A new solution developed by a Finnish team shifts electricity consumption away from peak times, balances the grid and reduces the need for increased energy production. By adjusting consumption to the fluctuations in renewable energy generation, the solution maximizes the utilization of wind and solar power generation. In addition, less transmission capability is needed and national capital tied-up in reserve energy resources could be diminished.
Advanced software simulates clean power plants of the future
New version of advanced process simulation software (Apros) can be used to simulate and optimize in advance such as fluidized bed combustion, carbon capture and desalination plants. Even the most difficult process failures can be simulated by using this software that also provides tools to test digital automation systems and train personnel. Apros brings cost-effiency both in planning and implementation, and results in efficient, low-emisssion processes.
Creating new tools for environmental monitoring
A program, developed and executed by a wide cross-functional consortium including the leading Finnish technology providers and research institutes, will create new tools, standards and methods for environmental measurement, monitoring and decision support. These promote new applications and services based on environmental data to improve the energy and material efficiency of infrastructures and industrial processes.
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