Forerunners of sustainable energy gathered in June 2022 in Vierumäki, Finland to share the current state of renewable energy and energy efficiency in the region and share concrete and inspiring examples. The event was organized by the RESINDUSTRY and SME POWER projects, both co-funded by Interreg Europe projects, which have been jointly working on energy issues in the Päijät-Häme region. The RESINDUSTRY project, led by LAB University of Applied Sciences, focuses on the utilization of renewable energy sources in the industry, and SME POWER, implemented by the city of Heinola, promotes the energy efficiency of SMEs. In both projects, experiences and existing energy solutions are sought from all international project partners. Subsequently, lessons learned are captured and adjusted to the regional context and needs. As an outcome and with the help of the regional action plans’ design, related policies are improved to better support the sustainable energy transition.
Renewables implications showcased by Päijät-Häme companies
The integration of renewable energy sources in the industry is at the forefront of companies. Due to the recent events and the energy soaring prices, the trend is accelerating. During the dissemination event, several applications of renewable energy and/or energy efficiency in local companies were showcased.
Sandor Luukkanen from the local energy company Lahti Energia highlighted the company’s investments in renewables. Since 2019, the company stopped using coal for heating and electricity production. Furthermore, they offer turnkey versatile energy solutions to local companies with circular economy principles and CO2 emissions reduction in mind. As an example, the new biogas hybrid solution, which will be built in the local brewery company Hartwall was introduced. The biogas plant will make use of the mash generated as a by-product during beer brewing. What is left after the biogas production is sent back to nourish the fields for the future barley crop. (Luukkanen 2022.)
Concrete examples of renewables in the furniture industry presented Asko Dahlbom from Isku in Lahti, which operates 100% on renewable energy using solar and geothermal energy. Isku invested more than 100 million € in Lahti between 2014 and 2021. (Dahlbom 2022.)
Wille Viittanen, Wiitta Oy, manufacturing energy-intensive plastics talked about existing green investments in terms of energy efficiency and renewables, e.g., for heating solutions and technology processes. In the future, the company aims to invest in solar energy and geothermal heat and cooling. (Viittanen 2022.)
Regional action plans
The design of the regional action plans is the main project output. The RESINDUSTRY action plan was developed together with the Regional Council of Päijät-Häme and the stakeholders. It contains clear measures to promote the implementation of bioenergy, wind power, and energy storage. The planned measures cover ongoing and future projects as well as renewable energy on the regional strategy level. Link to RESINDUSTRY Action Plan (PDF).
The SME POWER action plan is represented by Heinola’s Climate Action Roadmap. The roadmap’s goal is to support local companies in achieving climate goals. Renewable energy and energy efficiency play a substantial role in this effort. (Myllyluoma 2022.)
Katerina Medkova works as an RDI specialist at LAB University of Applied Sciences and acts as a Project & Communication Manager in the RESINDUSTRY project.
Dahlbom, A. 2022. Iskulle vastuullisuus on tekoja. Presentation given at the Kestävän ja hiilineutraalin energian edelläkävijät Päijät-Hämeessä –final regional dissemination event of RESINDUSTRY ja SME POWER on 8.6.2022. Not published.
Luukkanen, S. 2022. Biokaasuenergiahybridi. Presentation given at the Kestävän ja hiilineutraalin energian edelläkävijät Päijät-Hämeessä –final regional dissemination event of RESINDUSTRY ja SME POWER on 8.6.2022. Not published.
Myllyluoma, J. 2022. SME POWER panostaa Heinolan ilmastotiekarttaan – HIT!. Presentation given at the Kestävän ja hiilineutraalin energian edelläkävijät Päijät-Hämeessä –final regional dissemination event of RESINDUSTRY ja SME POWER on 8.6.2022. Not published.
Viittanen, W. 2022. Tulevaisuuden tehdas. Presentation given at the Kestävän ja hiilineutraalin energian edelläkävijät Päijät-Hämeessä –final regional dissemination event of RESINDUSTRY ja SME POWER on 8.6.2022. Not published.
Link 1. LAB University of Applied Sciences. 2022. RESINDUSTRY – Action Plan 2022. Cited 30 Aug 2022. Available at https://paijat-hame.fi/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Action-Plan_RESIDNUSTRY_LAB_FINAL-2022.pdf
Link 2. Interreg Europe. 2022. Project Summary. RESINDUSTRY. Cited 31 Aug 2022. Available at https://projects2014-2020.interregeurope.eu/resindustry/