Finnish Best Practices in Industrial Use of Renewable Energy

Due to energy-intensive industry, the standard of living, climate and long-distances, Finland’s energy consumption per capita is the highest in the European Union (Finnish Environment Institute 2016). To sustain the intensive industry and other country specifics, while simultaneously filling the goals of greenhouse gas emission reductions, new solutions must be adopted for renewable energy use in the Finnish industry. 

Interregional Cooperation Focusing on Renewables  

The RESINDUSTRY – Policies for Renewable Energy Sources in Industry project, aims to increase the energy independence of the EU industry sector, by decreasing its energy intensity through higher integration of renewable energy sources (RES). RESINDUSTRY is co-funded by Interreg Europe. Altogether seven partners from the Czech Republic, Finland (LAB University of Applied Sciences), Spain, Estonia, Poland, Austria and Malta identify best practices in their countries, which are then shared with other partners and stakeholders. These practices can then be adopted in other regions. RESINDUSTRY aims to develop regional policies on renewable energy and stimulate funding and investments in RES in industry. 

Picture 1. Mosaic of some of the good practices identified in Päijät-Häme. Sources (in order from left to right, top to bottom): Kesko (Photo: K-City Market Tammisto 2016), Stora Enso (Photo: Stora Enso 2020), S Group Finland (Photo: Nico Backstrom 2019), Fazer Xylitol factory (Photo: Lahti Energia 2019), Labio (Photo: Oona Rouhiainen 2018), Polttimo Viking Malt (Photo: Lassi Häkkinen 2016). Modified by Oona Rouhiainen 2020.

RESINDUSTRY at Lahti Science Week 

This year, the annual Lahti Science Day was replaced by a week-long online Lahti Science Week held on 16-20 November 2020. During the event, various research and development activities were shared with wide audience. The successful event reached about 800 visitors and 2000 views. Furthermore, most of the presentations were recorded and are available at the Science Week Youtube channel. 

Each day was dedicated to a main theme with a few sub-sections. November 18 was devoted to Environment and environmental research in Lahti. The RESINDUSTRY project took the opportunity to introduce the best practices in the industrial use of renewable energy from Finland. Altogether ten examples of renewable energy use in industrial applications, including novel technologies and industrial symbioses from Finland were presented to the audience. The live streaming was followed by 39 people. 

Picture 2. RESINDUSTRY presentation at Lahti Science Week 2020 was followed live by 39 people. (Printscreen Katerina Medkova) 

During the presentation, a query was made regarding the most applicable source of renewable energy in Finland, which may differ from other RESINDUSTRY partner countries. It is beyond doubt that it is bioenergy derived from biomass, largely provided by sustainable forestry and forest industry. In comparison with other European countries, Finland is the most heavily forested country in Europe. Forest covers over three-fourths of the country, some 26.2 million hectares. (IRENA 2018) In 2019, 28 percent of the total energy consumption consisted of wood fuels, representing the most used energy source in Finland (Statistics Finland 2020). 

Writer

Katerina Medkova who works as an RDI specialist at LAB University of Applied Sciences and is the RESINDUSTRY Project & Communication Manager. 

References 

Finnish Environment Institute. 2016. Energy consumption no longer increasing. Environment.fi. [Cited 01 Dec 2020]. Available at: https://www.ymparisto.fi/en-US/Maps_and_statistics/The_state_of_the_environment_indicators/Climate_change_and_energy/Energy_consumption_no_longer_increasing(28723) 

IRENA. 2018. Bioenergy from Finnish forests: Sustainable, efficient and modern use of wood, International Renewable Energy Agency, Abu Dhabi. [Cited 8 Dec 2020]. Available at: URN: ISBN 978-92-9260-012-9 

Statistics Finland. 2020. Consumption of fossil fuels decreased by 6 per cent in 2019. [Cited 07 Dec 2020]. Available at: http://www.stat.fi/til/ehk/2019/04/ehk_2019_04_2020-04-17_tie_001_en.html 

Links  

Link 1. Interreg Europe. 2020a. Project Summary. RESINDUSTRY. [Cited 01 Dec 2020]. Available at: https://www.interregeurope.eu/resindustry/ 

Link 2. Lahden tiedeviikko. 2020a.  LAB University of Applied Sciences. [Cited 01 Dec 2020]. Available at: https://lab.fi/fi/lahden-tiedeviikko-2020 

Link 3. Lahden tiedeviikko. 2020b. Ympäristötutkimusta Lahdesta. Katerina Medkova (LAB-ammattikorkeakoulu), Paavo Lähteenaro (LAB-ammattikorkeakoulu): Best practices in industrial use of renewable energy. YouTube. [Cited 07 Dec 2020]. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xbx-7EnQ8zs&t=1498s 

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