The energy used at Vaasa Housing Fair area is accumulated from the seabed and rubbish. The area produces up to 20 % electricity and 60 % heat over its own yearly needs. Some of the energy solutions used at the Housing Fair area are unique innovations with a remarkable market potential as the traditional forms of heating are getting more and more expensive. Solutions displayed at the Housing Fair are widely exploitable also elsewhere in Finland.

Renewable energy efficiently, environmentally friendly and locally

According to the recent report by Vaasa Energy Institute (VEI) the housing fair area in Vaasa is self-sufficient both in electricity and in heat. Thanks to new innovations energy is accumulated from the seabed and the old Suvilahti rubbish dump. Renewable energy is thus produced efficiently, environmentally friendly and locally. According to Kim Westerlund from Vaasa Energy Institute the housing fair area produces 20 % electricity and 60 % heat over its own yearly needs. The results gained in cooperation with D.Tech. Thomas Olofsson from University of Umeå show that the area is over energy self-sufficient from the very beginning.

Research results indicate that the area produces yearly up to 1800 tons less carbon dioxide emissions compared to a situation where houses would use energy generated by coal power and oil. Emission cuts are remarkable compared even to the west metro in Helsinki which - after being finished - is estimated to decrease carbon dioxide emissions all in all by 7000 tons per year. The energy city Vaasa has combined various energy solutions in a unique matter. Some of these systems are new innovations with a remarkable market potential. For example Wärtsilä´s fuel cell power plant uses gas, which would otherwise contribute to the global warming, in high level of efficiency.

New energy solutions exploitable also elsewhere in Finland

The method of utilizing heat from the seabed´s sediment was developed by Mateve Inc. and it was rewarded with Finland´s energy cluster´s regional innovation prize of the year. Heat from the seabed is transported to the houses in a low energy network with good efficiency by using heat pumps. Cooling of the houses is a by-product of the low energy network. According to the Geological Survey of Finland (GTK) the method is promising also in many other areas, such as near densely populated areas and in places, where soil is soft.

The institutions of higher learning, which are part of the Vaasa Energy Institute, plan measurements and follow-ups aiming to conduct a thorough research to see how the new system is working and how it can be applied. According to GTK there are places all over Finland, where this method could be efficiently exploited. These areas will be examined considering further use in an extensive program at GTK´s unit in Kokkola in cooperation with Mateve among others. The new energy solutions displayed at Vaasa Housing Fair will be commercialized in the nearest years.

Vaasa Energy Institute (VEI)

VEI was founded 2006. It offers regionally, nationally as well as internationally research, consulting and supplementary education services to actors in the energy field. The know-how at the Energy Institute combines in a unique way both commercial and technical skills. VEI is comprised of experts from University of Vaasa (Levón -institute, Faculty of Technology and VaasaEMG), Vaasa University of Applied Sciences and Novia University of Applied Sciences. VEI focuses especially on decentralized energy production, electricity energy systems, energy markets and the effects of energy production, distribution and use to the surrounding society.

Additional information:

kim.westerlund@vei.fi, +358 500 564 299, Vaasa Energy Institute (VEI)
keijo.ullakko@vaasa.fi, +358 40 549 7250, Vaasa Housing Fair
mauri.lieskoski@netikka.fi, +358 500 363 803, Mateve Oy
thomas.olofsson@tfe.umu.se, +46 70 340 6421, D.Tech. University of Umeå
pertti.reinikainen@vaasa.fi, City of Vaasa