In the eight of the nine articles of this series, the attention will be focused in North Karelia (Finland), from where our project partner Regional Council of North Karelia has shared 3 good energy practices:

  • ‘Heat Recovery from Exhaust Air at the Central Hospital’, a system that allows to recover heat from the North Karelian central hospital and return it to the district heating network;
  • Smart Led Streetlights of Penttilänranta’, where lights have been changed to dimmable ones with motion sensors via Lumine Lightning Solutions following an eco-friendly solution;
  • Heat recovery from municipal wastewater in Joensuu’, in which they have installed two heat pumps and oil used for thermal drying of the sludge has been replaced by biogas.

“The CLEAN project has been in significant role in sharing the information with project partners and stakeholders about the good practises that have been improving the energy efficiency in North Karelia. During the CLEAN project meetings and staff exchanges we have been able to disseminate the information about the solutions that have been made at our region”, explains Aino Heikura, Project Manager with Regional Council of North Karelia.


Organisation of one staff exchange

On the 23rd and 24th of January 2018, Finnish CLEAN partners organised one of the six staff exchanges that have taken place during the last year. Regional Council of North Karelia shared further details on the three good energy practices, mentioned above, with local stakeholders and project partners that attended these site visits: ERNACT (Ireland) and Development Agency of Savinjska Region (Slovenia).

“One of the main targets of the CLEAN project is to share the good practices in the field of energy efficiency. The staff exchange organized in North Karelia was a great possibility for us to give a detailed information to our project partners about the good practices done in our region. I hope that there is a lot of potential to transfer our good practices to other regions. Also, if project partners have got some new ideas from the practices represented during the staff exchange it has been worth visiting the North Karelia region”, adds Ms. Heikura.

Read more about the staff exchange in North Karelia: report 1 and report 2.


Participation in project’s staff exchanges

Finnish partners have participated in two of the organised six staff exchanges.

On the 12-13 of June 2018, a representative from Regional Council of North Karelia and a key stakeholder from Karelia University of Applied Sciences attended the staff exchange hosted by Region of Crete. Project partners from Iasi Municipality (Romania), Normandy (France) and Savinjska region (Slovenia) participated in the site visits as well.

“At the region of North Karelia one of the good practices that we have chosen is Heat Recovery from Exhaust Air at the Central Hospital. Because energy consumption is huge at the hospital area, we are interested to hear more about the energy saving solutions that are made at the hospitals located in Europe”, continues Aino Heikura. During the visit to the hospital, attendees also discussed about the solar energy and possibilities and challenges to utilize sun for the energy production. According to the Project Manager, “even though the solar panels are widely in use at Crete and there is a lot of potential at the solar energy, there are also big challenges moving towards the use of solar energy at the hospital area.”

After this visit, attendees travelled to the Technical University of Crete where representatives from North Karelia acquired some potential replications. “The University has adopted an end-user friendly system for informing the users of energy issues. This could be adopted, at least partly at Karelia UAS as part of the Energy saving week in October”, says Kaija Saramäki, Lecturer and project specialist with Karelia University of Applied Sciences.

Find out more about the exchange in Crete.


On the 13th and 14th of November 2018, a representative from Regional Council of North Karelia, alongside a key stakeholder from University of Sannio in Benevento (Campania region, Italy) participated in the staff exchange organised by the Association of Local Authorities in Västernorrland (Sweden). Attendees could learn more about the three good practices shared by Swedish partners: smarter travel for organisations, the largest solar panel wall in the Nordic region and snow cooling system in Sundsvall Hospital.

Ms Heikura expresses the utility and the benefits from the participation in this staff exchange as well: “in Västernorrland region there are several interesting investments done in the field of renewable energy solutions. Especially the solar panel investment at the Härnösand hospital was very inspiring and I really hope that in the future we could also utilize the solar energy in our North Karelia Central Hospital.”

Read more about the exchange in Västernorrland.