News / 25.8.2017

Helen identifies five solutions for a climate-neutral future

At Helen’s Environment Day, the company introduced its key words for the future: city resident participation, recycling excess heat, flexibility, and moving away from fossil fuels. Renewable energy production requires an increasing amount of space.

Helen’s goal is climate-neutral energy production. The enormous and global climate challenge won’t be resolved by any single technology or action, but climate change mitigation demands many strategies and everyone’s commitment. The role of city residents and customers will become particularly important.

 - In the future, we will have a significant volume of solar and wind power, but also more recycled energy than ever before, as well as energy generated by new technologies of the future. For now, we still need heat generated by combustion in wintertime. Energy will continue to be produced in the city, near the residents. Energy production will need space also in the Helsinki of the future, says Maiju Westergren, Vice President, Sustainability and Public Affairs at Helen.

Helen’s five solutions for a climate-neutral energy future are:

• The role of city residents will increase.
Residents will also become energy producers, as solar and electricity storage solutions and various hybrid heating systems gain popularity.

Excess heat will be recycled more efficiently.
No energy will be wasted, but recycled as well as possible. In the future, the summer heat requirement will be completely covered by recycled heat.

• Flexibility is a necessity.
The considerable increase in the electricity market of solar and wind power, the production of which fluctuates with the weather, necessitates various flexible systems alongside it, both in energy generation and use. Energy storage and demand response will become common.

• There will be a shift from fossil fuels via bioeconomy to x-economy.
Bioeconomy is an interim stage when moving from fossil fuels to climate-neutral production. It is difficult to predict what will follow bioeconomy, but various types of new solutions are already being designed and piloted.

• Investment in research, development, education and innovations.
Finland is at the forefront of research into energy-related technology. Helen is also involved in a number of research projects and trials. We must ensure sufficient know-how also in the future.

At Helen’s Environment Day on 24 August, visions of Helsinki in the future were drawn up, as well as hearing of ideas on developing the existing built environment. The event themes were the city, urbanisation and the future. The speakers at the event were Anni Sinnemäki, Deputy Mayor of Helsinki, Antti Tarvainen, researcher into the future from Demos Effect, and Karoliina Korppoo, games designer from Colossal Order.