IEA praises Finland's way to sustainable energy
The International Energy Agency praised Finland for its commitment to a sustainable energy future in a review launched today. The IEA recommended energy efficiency improvements in the transport sector and developing a regional gas market. Finland should also actively contribute to finding a mutually acceptable solution at an EU level regarding the discussion on sustainability criteria for biomass and the development of a robust certification scheme.
Cleantech - a key driver for Finnish economy
Cleantech was one of Finland's fastest-growing business sectors in 2012 - a year of economic downturn. Combined turnover for cleantech companies was EUR24.6 billion and annual growth 15 percent, shows a survey by Cleantech Finland. The companies expect strong growth also in 2013. The majority of cleantech companies get more than half of their turnover from abroad. In 2012, key export markets were Germany, China, Sweden, France and Russia.
Hydrogen to join electricity to cut traffic pollution
Global expectations for hydrogen are currently sky-high. Transport applications stand at the threshold of commercialization, while ahead lies an investment boom in the hydrogen distribution network. A Finnish hydrogen roadmap reveals considerable environmental and economical benefits that can be achieved, if hydrogen is produced from domestic renewable raw material. The roadmap also presents realistic recommendations for gaining access to them.
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.
Energy turn-around underway in Finnish households
A clear change is taking place in the energy consumption of Finnish households, according to a research program of Academy of Finland. The increasing trend in energy consumption has now levelled out, and for the first time, the amount of energy produced by renewable energy sources and nuclear power has overtaken the use of fossil fuels. The turn-around is a result of decisions on the national level as well as the independent initiation of the use of new energy technologies.
Arctic development - opportunities and challenges
The global warming has changed the development of the Arctic region. Main opportunities extend from the development of marine transportation and exploitation vast natural resources to tourism. "But tough challenges such as vulnerable environment and harsh conditions may complicate the development," says Professor Pauli Jumppanen in his comprehensive article. "The largest obstacle is the lack of infrastructure. To achieve sustainable development, the Arctic still has a long way to go."
Finland updates its energy and climate strategy
Finnish government's ministerial working group on energy and climate policy has finalized the updated national energy and climate strategy. Its main objective is to ensure that the targets for energy consumption and climate set nationally for 2020 are achieved and to prepare the way towards long-term energy and climate targets. A roadmap will start to be drawn up this year towards better energy efficiency and increased use of renewable energy by the year 2050.
EU Arctic Information Centre to become a reality
The European Commission has selected a consortium led by the Arctic Centre, University of Lapland, Finland, to carry out a project to produce a "strategic environmental impact assessment of development of the Arctic." The project provides a platform to test functionality and sustainability of the proposal by the consortium to establish a EU Arctic Information Centre that would facilitate information exchange between institutions, Arctic stakeholders and the public.
Finland updates its Arctic strategy
Sea ice in the Arctic Ocean is melting faster than projected making it possible to utilize the region's rich natural resources and opening up the Northern Sea Route. Both of these issues have a direct impact on events in the region's economy as well as on the global economy. As the Arctic environment is vulnerable, Finland keeps environmental perspectives at the heart of the strategy's renewing process and strengthens international parnerships.
Beneq establishes full-fledged operations in Russia
Beneq Oy, a leading supplier of industrial production and research equipment for thin film coatings used in solar photovoltaics and other emerging applications, is opening a subsidiary company in Russia. In addition, Beneq is launching an application development and service laboratory that will promote and implement cutting-edge thin film technologies and create globally competitive products and industrial solutions for Russian and global markets.
Finnish-Russian nanotech cooperation takes off
Nanotechnology is a strong growth sector in both Finland and Russia. The countries' cooperation on this technology is turning into success thanks to the Finnish-Russian Nanotechnology Innovation Alliance that speeds up commercialization of nanotechnology based innovations. Examples of success stories include a Finnish company providing a revolutionary coating technology for solar cells and a Russian company entering world markets via Finland.
Comprehensive approach to improve energy efficiency
A research program that does not focus on individual technologies or solutions but rather on the whole system, such as optimal solutions for improving energy efficiency in an entire industrial plant has started in Finland. The program aims to provide methods, tools and technologies to enable step-wise increase in energy efficiency beyond what can be achieved by constant improvement and application of Best Available Techniques (BAT).
Impact of climate change mitigation measures unclear
Uncertainties relating to the assessment of effectiveness of emission reduction measures are considerable. In order to manage these, there is an evident need to develop uniform assessment methods for ensuring that the assumed emission reductions are also achieved in practice, says Finnish scientist Sampo Soimakallio in his thesis. He also emphasizes increasing the transparency of results and assumptions, and improving the treatment of uncertainties relating to methods, parameters and modelling.
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.
Measuring environmental conditions in real-time
Measuring environmental conditions produces vast amounts of data, which is creating the need for more efficient ways of collecting, processing and meaningfully visualizing it. To respond to these challenges a cloud-based comprehensive solution for real-time environmental monitoring, analyzing and reporting has been developed in Finland. The platform aims to offer easy and inexpensive access for any company, organization or consumer in need of environmental measurements.
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