Finland's utility Helen plans bioenergy investments to meet green goals
Power lines in Finalnd. Author: Thomas Backa. Lincense: CC0 1.0 Universal.
Finnish utility Helen Ltd plans to expand its use of bioenergy and evaluate options for increased utilisation of solar heat, geothermal heat and heat pumps as part of a plan to achieve carbon-neutral energy production by 2050.
The company aims to cut its carbon dioxide emissions by 20% on 1990 levels and to lift the share of renewable energy to 20%.
Helen said in a press release last week that its first significant bioenergy investment would be in a pellet-fired heating plant in the Salmisaari power plant area, with a capacity of some 100 MW. It can go live as early as 2017, replacing an oil-fired heating station. Under the plan, the pellet-fired plant would be able to meet the heating needs of 25,000 one-bedroom apartments.
The utility is also planning to build a large bio-heating plant in the Vuosaari power plant area and possibly also at another construction site. The fuel for such plants will be pellets and/or wood chips. It is also possible to use biocoal.
The distributed generation model has also been identified by Helen as something that would take it closer to its emissions and renewables goals. Projects involving energy-efficiency solutions and new heat production solutions, such as heat pumps, solar thermal systems and geothermal heat, would be carried out in stages once feasible. Energy storage and the development of demand elasticity-related services are also continued.