The city of Lahti aims to become carbon-neutral by 2025, meaning 25 years ahead of the EU goal schedule. Concrete measures, such as coal abandonment from April 2019, have been implemented and many are to come (Lahti 2019).
One of the themes of the Interreg Europe Programme is also Low-carbon economy. In the Päijät-Häme region, two international projects, RESINDUSTRY and SME POWER were approved in the 4th call of the Interreg Europe Programme. Both projects have a similar focus and, therefore, they decided to work closely together to create a synergic effect in the region.
RESINDUSTRY – Policies for Renewable Energy Sources in Industry, aims to increase the energy independence of the EU industry sector, by decreasing its energy intensity through higher integration of renewable energy sources (RES). The project has seven partners from the Czech Republic, Finland, Spain, Estonia, Poland, Austria and Malta. In Finland, LAB University of Applied Sciences is the project partner.
SME POWER – SMEs Powering a Low Carbon Future, focuses on energy efficiency and RES in non-energy intensive SMEs. The project has eight partners from Italy, Germany, Slovenia, United Kingdom, Spain, Ireland, and Finland, where it is presented by Heinola City.
Local Stakeholder Group Created
The 1st joint local stakeholder group meeting of RESINDUSTRY & SME POWER projects was organised in Heinola, Finland on 5.2.2020. The stakeholder group consists of representatives of authorities, associations, agencies, academia and companies from the region. The stakeholder group regularly meets at least twice a year.
After a short introduction of all present stakeholders, the benefits of establishing a joint group of stakeholders for both projects were emphasized. Also, the ongoing development of the Päijät-Häme Climate Change Roadmap was explained by Maarit Virtanen from the Regional Council of Päijät-Häme. The meeting has been boosted by expert presentations: (1) Utilization of renewable energy in the industry by Martti Kätkä from Teknologiateollisuus ry and (2) Developing energy efficiency in industry and non-energy efficient SMEs by Anna-Stiina Luoma from Caverion Oy.
The presentations set the national state of the art for renewable energy and energy efficiency in the industry. In the first presentation, the core message was the paramount role of the biomass in the Finnish renewable energy production, as well as the synergy role of the renewable and emission-free energy forms. According to Kätkä, the main challenge on the national level is the high level of imported electricity.
In January 2020, a preliminary survey mapping the energy needs in industry on national level was performed among the stakeholder group. The survey outcomes were summarized at the meeting and will be further used for planning a tailor-made content of the following stakeholder group meetings. Energy efficiency solutions, investment costs and knowledge needed for the decision-making were highlighted in the survey as well as in Luoma’s presentation.
Written by Katerina Medkova who works as an RDI specialist at LAB University of Applied Sciences and is the RESINDUSTRY Project & Communication Manager and Sami Luste who is a researcher in LAB University of Applied Sciences and RESINDUSTRY project expert.
Lahti. 2019.Lahti to become carbon-neutral by 2025. [Cited 06 Feb 2020]. Available at: www.lahti.fi/en/latest-updates/news/lahti-aims-to-become-carbon-neutral-by-2025
Interreg Europe. 2020a. RESINDUSTRY. Project Summary. [Cited 06 Feb 2020]. Available at: www.interregeurope.eu/resindustry/
Interreg Europe. 2020b. SME POWER. Project Summary. [Cited 06 Feb 2020]. Available at: www.interregeurope.eu/smepower/
Interreg Europe. 2020c. What is Interreg Europe? [Cited 06 Feb 2020]. Available at: www.interregeurope.eu/about-us/what-is-interreg-europe/