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The record in the production of district heating from renewable sources of energy


Detailed description of the Good Practice

Preventing climate change has become the most important global phenomenon affecting mankind and, in particular, the energy industry. Two factors that will play a key role in this area are reducing the burden on the climate resulting from the use and production of energy and more efficient exploitation of renewable sources of energy. Turku Energia has set clear checkpoints for itself on the road towards the production of environmentally friendly electricity and heat. Protecting the water system is also very important to Turku Energia.
This year, Turku Energia will set a new company record in the production of district heating produced from renewable sources of energy. The Kakola heat pump that began operating in the spring raised the share of renewable energy sources to more than 30% of total heat production. The Oriketo bioheating plant, which uses renewable wood chips as fuel, pro-duces approximately 20% of the district heating for the Turku region.

energy efficiency
climate change
renewable sources of energy

Objectives of the Good Practice

The aim of Turku Energia’s environmental programme is to minimise the direct and indirect environmental load resulting from its own operations.
The goal is to exceed the targets for increasing the use of renewable energy sources that have been set for Finland. By 2020 more than half of Turku’s district heating will be produced in a renewable manner, by means of either wood or field-based fuels, heat pumps that utilise waste heat from communities and companies, or biogas.

Participants of the Good Practice

Turku Energia

Funding of the Good Practice

Turku Energia

More Details of the Good Practice

Heat from waste water

The Kakola heat pump plant introduced in spring 2009 operates on the cradle-to-cradle principle, which means that heat energy from household water is efficiently exploited to heat buildings and service water and to cool business premises by means of district cooling. This plant, which has generated plenty of interest, utilizes treated wastewater from Turku and the surrounding communities. The wastewater contains a lot of heat energy. Heat recovery takes place after the treatment process and before the water is discharged back into the sea. However, prior to discharging the cooled water into the sea, it is used a second time to cool the water for Turku’s district cooling network. In a way, this means that the waste heat in the water is recovered twice.
The heat pump plant replaces district heat energy produced with fossil fuels, which subsequently reduces the amount of coal burned in Turku by up to 21,000 tons per year. This means a reduction of up to 50,000 tons in the amount of carbon dioxide produced each year. The plant produces district heat for about 12,000 Turku residents – without emissions and energy-efficiently. Plant operations do not produce any local emissions to the air and the electricity required to run it is mainly produced without carbon dioxide.
The aim of Turku Energia’s environmental programme is to minimise the direct and indirect environmental load resulting from its own operations. During the past year, the attention was turned out to the state of the water system, and especially to that of the Archipelago Sea, where eutrophication has been developing at an alarming rate. Turku Energia donated EUR 11,200 to the Protection Fund for the Archipelago Sea to reduce the nutrient load in the sea. The Baltic Sea was selected as the target for this donation because energy-related climate change indirectly weakens the state of the sea as increased rain and winters with little snow increase the runoff of nutrients from fields into the large rivers of Southwest Finland.

The goal of Turku Energia is to sell its customers electricity and heat that are as ecological and emission-free as possible. Checkpoints already exist with regard to the selected energy production methods, but Turku Energy is constantly looking for the most climate-friendly energy production alternatives that combine competitive energy prices with low emissions. Preparations to double the capacity for carbon dioxide-free heat production were made at the Oriketo bioheating plant and the Kakola heat pump plant by reserving space for new production equipment already in the construction phase. With regard to electricity generation, Turku Energia’s target is to significantly increase its use of wind and hydropower.

Available files

Contact details

Mikko Merisaari
Oy Turku Energia-Åbo Energi Ab
Linnankatu 65, FIN-20100 Turku
vaihde +358 2 262 8111, suora +358 2 262 8355
matkapuhelin +358 50 5573 355
telefax +358 2 262 8350

Data sources and references

Baltic Cities Environmental Bulletin 2/2009