Blog / 21.04.2017

Enhancing solar power in Finland

Terhi Jantunen The City of Lappeenranta, Business Services Wirma Advisor, development services

The land of Slush, in the darkness of November, and Jukola (picture above), in June, the lightest time of the year, is a unique mixture of a high tech, but relaxed and fluently working business environment and nature-based easy living society. The huge orienteering competition that is Jukola is organized during the nightless summer night, with amateurs and professionals competing side by side. Running around the vast forests of Finland is an empowering and rich experience for body and soul.

Meanwhile, the highly professional (but in relaxed mode) and accomplished startup event Slush gathers up to 15 000 people each year to connect with startups and investors from all over the world.

From extreme dark to utmost light, the transition from fossil fuel power sources to renewables provides challenges, but also numerous possibilities.

Finland has set a goal to be the forerunner in bio and circular economy and cleantech by 2025. The Government of Finland has set spearhead projects to carry out the implementation of the main objective. Enlarging and empowering the use of renewable sources of energy is an essential cross-sectional element in a carbon neutral sustainable economy.

Despite its Nordic location, the technical potential to utilise solar energy in Finland is several times greater than energy consumption. The main technical challenges relate to the intermittency of available solar energy during day-night and summer-winter cycles. Finnish research organizations have developed technological solutions to overcome seasonal challenges.

Within the last 10 years, the attitude climate for growth companies in Finland has been favorable. The rise of the games industry has opened up a rich startup culture in various business areas. Cleantech solar power solutions have developed remarkably.

The Finnish solar energy ecosystem consists of various actors: solar energy system providers, designers, consultants, funding services and research groups, along with related services and products. Municipal energy companies and big international companies like Fortum have redirected their services and many new startups hungering for aggressive growth have been established. For example, Green Energy Finland Ltd. (GEF), established in 2010, provides turnkey solar systems and has grown strongly. At the moment, GEF is competing as a representative of Finland in the final of the European Business Awards.

Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT), Aalto University and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland are leading research institutions in solar energy. Aalto’s portal provides actual information about solar power research, and business and recommendations for business possibilities in Finland. LUT and VTT are together building a unique demo plant to pilot the production of renewable fuels with solar power.
Municipalities, public and private organizations and households are using solar power with increasing eagerness. Solar power capacity connected to the Net has grown in 2016 to 20 MW, less than 1% of electricity production. There are big growth possibilities in solar power in Finland.

Want to hear more about Finland and its business opportunities? Come and meet us at Hannover Messe Germany in Hall 3, Stand H27/2!