Carbon neutrality at Oulun Energia
Our goal is to become carbon neutral in 2030, at which time no climate-warming carbon dioxide emissions will be released into the atmosphere due to our operations. We will achieve carbon neutrality by following our path to carbon neutrality:
Step by step, we are achieving our vision—We are building the future in a way that future generations can be proud of!
Better energy efficiency
Together with our partners, we are building residential and property blocks that produce smart energy where we will make effective use of waste heat and elasticity of demand, i.e., directing customers to use electricity and heat outside peak demand hours. These new solutions will reduce carbon dioxide emissions and conserve energy.
Examples of ongoing projects that use smart energy systems include the Karjasillan kulma project (link here) and the development of new energy systems for about ten S Group stores in the Oulu region in cooperation with S Group (link here). We plan to carry out more similar projects in the coming years.
The district heat used by our carbon-neutral district heating customers is already entirely produced using renewable energy sources and waste heat. In this way, our customers are involved in taking environmental actions and making carbon-wise choices with us. We are also researching various new options for producing emission-free district heating. In addition to researching small modular reactors, we have also assessed geothermal heat and various waste heat and heat pump solutions.
In our own operations, we aim for even greater energy efficiency. Practical measures include the precise capture and utilisation of the flue gas heat from the Laanila biopower plant and the plant’s ability to efficiently regulate the production of electricity and heat in the best way for each moment.
More renewable energy—while discontinuing the use of peat
Phasing out peat by 2024 is also an integral part of our path to carbon neutrality. This in turn means significant investments in renewable energy in the coming years. We have invested a share of 25% in Finland’s largest wind farm in Lestijärvi. We are also going to heavily invest in solar energy—our goal is that by 2026, we will be utilising 100 gigawatt hours of solar power annually. In addition, we are discontinuing the use of fossil fuel as a fuel in our reserve power plants and introducing new, cleaner, solutions for the production of heat, such as a boiler that is being built in 2023 at the Laanila power plant.
More efficient carbon capture
The ash generated at the Toppila Power Station is processed into fertiliser for forestry. Ash fertiliser is used to restore the nutrients created from the burning of fuel wood back to the forest. This significantly boosts the growth of trees and thus increases their ability to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. At the same time, it improves the sustainability and profitability of forestry in the region. We also aim to start carbon capture in 2030.