Emissions in Helsinki have reduced significantly
Helen has made substantial investments in energy efficiency, renewable energy and technology that reduces local emissions. The results are seen as a fall in emissions: in five years, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and particulate emissions have decreased by almost 40% and carbon dioxide emissions by 22%.
Helen aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 20% from the 1990 level by 2020. This target seems to be attainable, but the trend is threatened by changes in fuel prices and taxation towards a direction that is unfavourable in terms of climate change mitigation. One example of these is the proposed taxation of cogeneration.
– Helen has made substantial investments in energy efficiency, renewable energy and technology that reduces local emissions. These efforts are also in evidence, says Director Maiju Westergren of Helen. – An increase in the taxation of cogeneration, which is proposed by the government, would be a big setback to efficient energy production. This would punish especially combined heat and power generation using natural gas.
According to preliminary data, Helen’s emissions have fallen in comparison with 2010:
- carbon dioxide emissions fell by 22%
- sulphur dioxide emissions fell by 38%
- nitrogen oxide emissions fell by 37%
- particulate emissions fell by 38%
Smart energy system enables new solutions
Helen’s energy production system enables diverse renewable energy production and the utilisation of various forms of excess heat on a large scale. Helen is increasing the production of renewable energy in stages and in a diverse way. Helen is a forerunner in the construction of solar power plants. Coal is replaced with pellets in combined heat and power plants in Hanasaari and Salmisaari. Helen is currently the only energy company in Finland burning pellets in a power plant-scale pulverised fuel boiler. The implementation solution, with progressive investment in biofuels used in heat production, was approved by the City Council of Helsinki last December. In progressive investment, it is possible take into account new technological solutions and any changes in customers’ energy use. Extensive utilisation of solar heat, geothermal heat and heat pumps, among others, are also investigated.