Finnish startups can support the EU's energy transition with climate-smart solutions
Finnish company Virta is building a global charging network for electric vehicles.Virta
Finland is uniquely positioned to take the lead in green energy transition, with abundant renewable energy sources and a strong innovation ecosystem for climate-smart solutions, writes Antti Hämmäinen, CEO and co-founder at Synergi.
The fight against climate change is one of the defining global efforts of our time. International organisations have been negotiating agreements for many years, such as the Kyoto Protocol and, most recently, the Paris Agreement. The Paris Agreement, signed by 196 parties at COP 21 in 2015, aims to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels (1850–1900). Under the Paris Agreement, the EU committed to a 55 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, and its objective is to become the first climate-neutral continent by 2050.
To make this possible, we need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions both individually and across industries. However, for this effort to work at scale, countries must prepare themselves on all fronts to enable a national green transition. The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) has ranked 166 countries on their readiness to use frontier green technology in areas including ICT, skills, industry, research and development, and finance. According to this ranking, Finland ranks eighth.
Finland is in a unique position to take the lead in the energy transition and show the rest of the EU how to decarbonise the grid successfully. The country's greatest strengths lie in its abundant renewable energy sources, including wind, solar and hydropower. Additionally, the Olkiluoto 3 nuclear plant provides a good base load of electricity production. It will account for 30 per cent of all electricity produced in a CO2-free way. These resources can significantly reduce dependence on fossil fuels and greenhouse gas emissions. Fingrid, the backbone of the Finnish electricity grid, has invested heavily in building a strong transmission-capable grid, despite long distances in the country. In 2021 for example, transmitting electricity in Finland was the second most affordable when compared to the rest of Europe.
Transmitting electricity in Finland was the second most affordable in Europe in 2021.Fingrid
Furthermore, Finland boasts a robust innovation ecosystem, characterised by numerous interconnections between the private and public sectors, startups, and larger corporations. This collaborative ecosystem makes Finland an ideal place to start a business, particularly when it comes to building climate solutions quickly and reliably. There are already many climate-smart innovations with global scaling potential as a result of this tight-knit innovation ecosystem. For example, P2X is doing a great job producing green hydrogen from electricity. Kapacity.io is building an efficient way to decarbonise buildings, and Cactos is building intelligent energy storage to help stabilise the national electricity grid. At the same time, Virta is creating the most comprehensive EV charging network in the world.
The aforementioned examples are some of the opportunities on which Finland can build and continue to develop software and hardware solutions for all aspects of the energy transition value chain. These solutions are necessary to achieve a zero-carbon economy for everyone, and Finland and its startups are uniquely positioned to support the EU's energy transition with climate-smart solutions today.