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Renewable energy sources

The City of Helsinki seeks to make all new buildings in the city meet nearly zero-energy standards from the beginning of 2021 onwards, meaning that they need very little heating and produce some of their energy themselves.

The quality and energy consumption goals of new buildings and renovation projects are defined at the very beginning of the project. According to energy regulations, renewable energy produced in the building or in the vicinity of the building improves the building’s E-factor and energy-efficiency category.

Energy-efficient buildings utilize renewable energy. The sun not only gives us light and heat, but it can also be used to produce energy. Solar energy can be utilized passively without any dedicated equipment. This requires careful consideration of the orientation of a new building, the building architecture and the structures, to make the best possible use of the energy provided by the sun.

Active utilization of solar energy – for example, utilization of solar thermal energy with the help of solar collectors to heat domestic water and space – cuts down the consumption of purchased energy by about one-third. Utilization of solar power is on a continuous increase.

Solar collectors and air-source heat pumps can be installed in Helsinki without a permit. However, the installation must be carried out with care and in a manner that suits the cityscape.  

Nearly half of all builders of detached and semi-detached houses chose to install a geothermal heating system in their houses in 2012. The wells required for these systems always require a permit in Finland to ensure that the drilling of the wells does not damage underground structures or ground water reserves.

Small wind power plants are particularly well suitable for the coastline and the archipelago, but there are also inland locations with enough wind for the generators. Wind power plants usually require either a building permit or an operation permit.

More than 90 percent of the heated Helsinki building stock uses district heat and much of it also uses district cooling. These forms of heating and cooling are produced efficiently in a tri-generation process, that is, a combined heat/cooling and power process. Helsinki’s energy company Helsingin Energia plans to increase its use of renewable energy to 20 percent of all energy sources by 2020 and to shift to carbon neutral energy production over the following 30 years.

By 2035, approximately 14 million square meters of new buildings will be produced in Helsinki. In total, the floor area will then be over 60 million square meters. Considering the greenhouse effect it is of great importance how energy efficient new buildings are planned and implemented. It is even more important to reduce the energy consumption in the existing building stock.

Helsinki's goal is to be carbon neutral in 2035. Carbon neutrality means that the geographic region of Helsinki does not produce atmospheric emissions. In practice, carbon neutrality means an 80 percent emission reduction, with the remaining 20 percent being compensated by reducing emissions elsewhere than in Helsinki. This goal requires a significant increase in the production of renewable energy in Helsinki.




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06.12.2019 19:04