Smart energy in Finland plays a key role in securing a clean, low-carbon future

Sanna Öörni

Carbon dioxide emissions from energy production, transport and housing must be practically eliminated and quickly. Finland plans to be carbon-neutral by 2035.

The best kind of energy is unconsumed energy. Emissions can be cut by conserving energy, improving energy efficiency and increasing the use of renewable energy. Renewable energy must account for more than 55% of Finland’s energy consumption by 2030.

Wind power and solar energy rely on the weather

Increasing their use requires a flexible power grid that supports decentralised energy generation and enables a steady energy supply. Cleaner energy production requires a new kind of a power grid. We want to give consumers a smart grid that is: sustainable, reliable, flexible, affordable.

Towards a flexible power grid

The amount of emission-free wind power and solar energy available in a 24-hour period varies according to the time of year and the weather. A smart power grid provides flexibility. Supply and demand can be coordinated with the help of energy storage and demand-side management.

Energy-efficient buildings benefit the environment and pay for themselves. Virtual power plants balance out peaks in energy and heat generation. Smart properties only consume energy when they need it.

Why test this new kind of a power grid in Finland?

  • Finland has an open energy market.
  • We already use the latest technology.
  • We bring together top experts from different fields to find answers to global problems.
  • We foster innovation to create new kinds of power grids.

VTT coordinates an innovation ecosystem called Smart Otaniemi, which brings together more than 60 change drivers

Smart Otaniemi brings together existing and new energy operators. Smart Otaniemi’s network of partners creates systemic innovations that approach the future of power grids from a holistic perspective. This also enables piloting with real customers.

  • Smart Otaniemi innovates using the latest scientific discoveries and state-of-the-art research.
  • Smart Otaniemi experiments with future solutions and puts them to use today.
  • Smart Otaniemi acts as a testing and innovation platform for new business models.
  • Smart Otaniemi invites Finnish and international change drivers to collaborate in an open research and testing environment.
Illustration of a smart city with buildings and wind and solar power plants

Piloting new power grid solutions

  • Flexible local markets
  • Intelligent electric car charging solutions
  • Neighbourhood hybrid energy systems
  • World’s quietest waste collections

Cutting-edge research breeds commercial solutions through versatile piloting. Smart Otaniemi creates opportunities for local demand-side management to benefit businesses and residents on a daily basis.

Examples of Smart Otaniemi pilots

Intelligent electric car charging solutions

We develop electric car charging systems that link seamlessly with the power grid.

Neighbourhood hybrid energy systems

New user-centred solutions are needed in properties to enable the use and storage of renewable energy. Hybrid energy systems make it possible to combine different forms of energy and services.

World’s quietest waste collections

Our quick-charging battery-powered waste collection lorry and electric loader reduce noise andemissions from waste collections.

What is Smart Otaniemi going to achieve?

Smart Otaniemi wants to generate more international business in the field of smart energy. Collaborations breed new services and business models. International cooperation between different platforms and ecosystems speeds up the adoption of climate-friendly energy solutions.

Towards a user-centred power grid

  • Users are rewarded for conserving energy.
  • Energy can be shared between neighbours during holidays, for example.
  • A user-centred power grid is hassle-free, invisible and self-regulating.

Integrated services

  • Transport, housing and energy services become increasingly integrated.
  • Low-emission transport solutions interact flexibly with the power grid.
Sanna Öörni
Sanna Öörni
Business Development Manager
Our vision beyond 2030

The efficient utilisation of renewable and carbon-neutral energy in industry, transport, and construction holds a key position in solving climate issues.