Helsinki’s energy company Helsingin Energia produces electricity along with both district heating and cooling by cogeneration in its power plants located in the city. Compared to separate production, this efficient process conserves a considerable amount of raw materials.
In cogeneration plants, the energy contained in the fuel can be almost completely utilised, with the efficiency figure reaching as high as 90%. Overall emissions are also substantially reduced. With cogeneration, each year Helsinki saves an amount of energy corresponding to the annual heating needs of approximately 270,000 detached houses.
In addition to cogeneration, a process called tri-generation is used, with district cooling produced in the same process as heat and electricity. The production method has earned the power company a significant international acknowledgment in 2008, when it was placed first in the European Regional Champions Awards, receiving the acknowledgement from the European Parliament of being the world leader in cogeneration efficiency.
At present, Helsinki is investigating energy production that is less dependent on fossil fuels, aiming to increase the share of renewable energy from the current 6%, to 20% by 2020.
The main goal of Helsinki’s climate policy is to reduce emissions by 30 percent, from the 1990 level, by 2020. In the long run, by 2050, Helsinki aims to be a carbon neutral city. Read more