March 23, 2018

Five for Friday: Energy Week

Vaasa's approach to living is energetic.
Vaasa's approach to living is energetic.
Julia Bushueva

One-third of Finland’s total energy technology exports come from the vibrant energy cluster located in Vaasa. This is a perfect setting for Energy Week, then.

This week, the city of Vaasa hosted its annual Energy Week, gathering together “energy enthusiasts from all over the world to share information, hear about the latest news and most interesting cases, widen their network, and do business”.

Vaasa is a fitting location for this. After visiting the city last year, we can certainly vouch for its energetic approach.

The event continues to grow, and the first annual Energy & Innovation Awards were staged, with Virta’s electric vehicle home charging service triumphing.

And so, in celebration of the city’s energetic approach, we took a look back through our archives to rediscover what some of the companies at Energy Week have been up to.

Read on to discover some of what’s up in energy.

Wind

Being open to the winds of change means Finnish companies are doing great things in wind power.

Suomen Hyötytuuli’s 11-turbine Tahkoluoto offshore wind farm in western Finland includes an innovative new bird radar.

Meanwhile, energy company Fortum is also embracing renewable sources of energy in Sweden and Norway, and Peikko is providing foundations for wind parks in Norway.

Wondering what to do with all this windy energy? Making use of it efficiently, however, requires ways of storing it, as wind does not always blow. Finnish Teraloop believes it can rearrange the global energy landscape with its solution that allows for the fact that the Sun doesn’t always shine, too. Which leads us to:

Solar

Much is on offer under the Sun here up north. Lappeenranta University of Technology and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland have been building a unique demo plant that will pilot the production of renewable fuels with solar power. Among other things, VTT has also been mass developing flexible solar panels. Silvasti’s expertise particularly in wind power logistics received a boost last year, and GreenEnergy Finland delivered a photovoltaic plant to Egypt. The Sun is also shining on Fortum in India.

Cyber security and digitalisation

According to Energy Week, power companies “can explore new opportunities that improve efficiencies further, using data analytics to model new products and solutions. Simultaneously energy infrastructure is vulnerable to a wide range of risks stemming from both physical and cyber threats and hazards.”

Based in the city of Vaasa, software company Wapice was on hand at the event, having supplied IoT-based systems for close to 18 years. Also present was VEO, which develops automation, drives and power distribution solutions for the energy and process industries.

Natural gas and biogas

Another event this year was the Vaasa Gas Exchange, an international networking event for energy experts, focusing on natural gas and biogas in all formats for power generation, transport and shipping.

Among the many companies on show at the event were two Finnish stalwarts. Gasum recently was named the biggest producer of biogas in the Nordic countries, while Neste, which produced the world’s greatest volume of renewable fuels from waste and residues back in 2015, is seeing its renewable diesel take off.

Energy and buildings

Asking the question, how do digitalisation and energy efficiency requirements affect building in the future? Many Finnish companies are on hand today for the final day of the event.

YIT and Caverion are two companies we often see in the headlines. But there is plenty of room for everyone else. Greenfield now provides consulting services for energy production, energy networks and energy production technologies in the UK and Finland, after a recent acquisition in England. And Molok is doing great things in waste disposal.

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