The EU Commission’s Covenant of Mayors has recognized the City of Helsinki for exceptionally efficient tri-generation of electricity, district heat and district cooling.
The Covenant of Mayors, which was established by the European Commission in 2008, has more than 4,000 member cities and local authorities. They are committed to realizing and exceeding the EU goal of a 20 per cent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by 2020.
To date, the Covenant has conferred only 14 Best Energy Practices recognitions, with the latest one now granted to Helsinki.
Global leadership in the co-generation of electricity and district heat
In their arguments for Helsinki’s recognition, the Covenant of Mayors cites Finland’s global leadership in the co-generation of electricity and district heat, the country’s largest European district heating network and the largest heat pump plant in the world.
Helsinki is equipped with 1,200 kilometres of underground district heating pipes and 93 per cent of the city’s heated space is connected to the municipal district heating network.
In the beginning of the 2010s, Helsinki’s energy company, Helsingin Energia introduced a concept in which the heat generated by data centres is retrieved and used as district heat.
This concept is projected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 60,000 tonnes by 2015. The City of Helsinki’s mid-term goal is to raise the share of renewable energy sources to 20 per cent in all energy production.