News 2009 ›  2009-04-23
Eco-efficient cogeneration in Helsinki wins recognition

 

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2009-04-23
Eco-efficient cogeneration in Helsinki wins recognition

Eco-efficient cogeneration by Helsinki’s municipal utility, Helsingin Energia, has been in the news recently. This has included an article in The Times entitled ‘Helsinki has all its hot water on tap’, a European Regional Champion Award from the European Parliament’s Committee of the Regions, and a commendation by the International Energy Agency.

Helsingin Energia generates district cooling using cold seawater, the heat from purified wastewater, and surplus heat from its power plants to cool offices, hotels, shopping centres, and residential buildings. Photo courtesy of Helsingin Energia.

The European Regional Champion Award described Helsingin Energia as ‘the world leader in cogeneration and energy efficiency’. Some 93% of all buildings in the city are heated by co-generated district heat, a system that offers a fuel efficiency of over 90% and a substantially lower level of emissions per unit of output compared to traditional separate generation.

In addition to combined heat and power (CHP), Helsingin Energia has extended the basic technology to generate district cooling, using excess district heat in the summer that would otherwise be discharged into the sea. This single process approach – known as trigeneration – has been declared a Best Available Technology (BAT) by the EU.

Thanks to CHP and trigeneration, Helsingin Energia has calculated that the city saves the equivalent of the heat needed to warm 270,000 detached houses annually.

For more on the company, see our own article, the article in The Times, or www.helen.fi.