News / 20.6.2016

Helen to begin producing district heat with biogas

Helen and Gasum have entered into a major biogas partnership agreement. Helen will begin to produce district heat with Finnish biogas made from waste and this way increase the use of renewable sources of energy.

Helen will launch a renewable district heat product for business customers, the production of which will be based on biogas in the initial phase. The direct carbon dioxide emissions from heat production using renewable biogas are a round zero. Gas does not generate any fine particulate emissions that deteriorate air quality either.

Helen aims to use biogas in a manner whereby renewable district heat can be supplied to several dozen business properties or apartment buildings. The first to switch to Helen’s renewable district heat for business customers are the City of Helsinki Environment Centre and the Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra. Helen also offers a special renewable heat product to residential customers.

Biogas is a Finnish biofuel that is produced from fully renewable raw materials. Gasum produces biogas for the gas network with its partners in Espoo, Kouvola and Lahti. The company processes biodegradable waste and produces biogas at seven biogas plants around Finland and recycles the nutrient residues from biogas production into use as fertilizers.

Emissions will be reduced

The use of biogas will help cut Helen's annual carbon dioxide emissions by around 6,000 tonnes. When compared with the carbon dioxide emissions generated by cars, this reduction would cover the emissions from the annual driving distance (20,000 km) of around 2,500 cars. The delivery of biogas does not cause any transport emissions at all as it is supplied to the Helen heating plants via the gas pipeline network. Corresponding to natural gas in terms of its composition, upgraded biogas can be used flexibly at the various usage sites of gas. Biogas is naturally suited for use as an energy source for natural gas-fueled heating plants in densely built urban areas.

- Biogas is an excellent addition to Helen’s diverse fuel mix and yet another step on our journey to a climate-neutral energy future. At the same time biogas enables the market launch of a renewable heat product within a quick time frame. Our business customers are interested in the renewable district heat product in the same way as they are in the entirely new urban energy solutions offered by Helen. The business product is an excellent choice for those of our customers who want to have an impact through their choices on the development of our future and that way accelerate the transition towards a climate-neutral energy economy, says Director Marko Riipinen from Helen.

- Helen’s renewable district heat product and the increased choice available to customers in energy sourcing are excellent examples of response to developing customer needs. Biogas represents circular economy at its best and I’m happy that Helen has selected it as a component of its renewable district heat product. Our cooperation is a prime illustration of the multitude of advantages provided by gas, says Vice President Jukka Metsälä from Gasum.

Facts, Biogas
• 100% Finnish energy
• Renewable energy – produced from biodegradable waste, with the option of expanding production to field biomass, livestock manure and forest industry side streams
• Low emissions – no fine particulate emissions or calculated direct CO2 emissions.
• Efficient distribution – distribution takes place using the existing and evolving gas system
• Flexible use – suitable for the same uses as natural gas and liquefied natural gas (LNG)
• Environmentally friendly Finnish energy that has been awarded the Nordic Ecolabel

Facts, business customers’ renewable district heat:
• Produced using renewable Finnish fuels
• Enterprises choosing the product will promote climate-neutral energy production through their choice.
• The share of renewable heat chosen can range between 5% and 100% of the property’s annual heat consumption.
• Enterprises can make progress towards environmental classification or improve current classification of buildings. • The CO2 emission reduction is obtained immediately: there are no changes required in the heating system.

Read more about the topic

Heating Carbon neutrality