Vantaa Energy’s seasonal thermal storage proceeds to the next round in a very competitive EU proposal call
Vantaa Energy’s seasonal thermal storage project has proceeded to the second round of the EU Innovation Fund’s first call for projects. Getting to the second round was extremely competitive—only the most promising 70 projects out of 311 applicants made the cut. Through the fund, the EU supports innovative technologies that help mitigate climate change — like seasonal thermal energy storage. Getting to the second round is a clear sign that new means of seasonal thermal energy storage have a significant role in achieving the EU’s and Finland’s climate goals. Seasonal thermal storage also enables Vantaa Energy to achieve its goal of abandoning fossil fuels by 2026.
Making it to the second round was not easy. Ending last October, the first round attracted 311 project proposals from the EU countries, Norway and Iceland. Vantaa Energy continues to the second round along with 70 other applicants. The second round is completed in June, and the final results are expected to be announced before the end of the year. The central goals of the Innovation Fund are to support innovative, emission-reducing technologies and speed their introduction into use in Europe.
Vantaa Energy was praised for its innovativeness during the first round. The project would be the first cavern thermal storage facility that uses water of up to 140 degrees in temperature to store heat. At such a high temperature, water remains liquid only at a higher-than-usual pressure. The storage facility inventively uses the surrounding groundwater to achieve keep the storage water pressurised. The facility is unique also because of its size: with a capacity of about half a million cubic metres and its 100-gigawatt storage capacity, it would be the world’s largest season thermal energy storage facility.
The European Commission has stated that it wants to advance new forms of thermal storage to mitigate climate change. With this in mind, Vantaa Energy sees thermal energy storage as an excellent means to advance many of the EU’s energy and climate goals, such as phasing out fossil fuels and improving energy efficiency. In Vantaa, seasonal thermal energy storage is meant to replace natural gas, for example, by storing heat produced in the summer for winter’s freezing temperatures and the greater energy consumption they cause. This also strengthens energy efficiency and circular economy.
– The seasonal thermal energy storage facility is an important part of achieving our goal of giving up fossil fuels by 2026, said Vantaa Energy CEO Jukka Toivonen. The solutions we are using there would certainly also help many other European cities to reduce their emissions.
Last autumn, Vantaa Energy started its “Fossil-Free 2026” project, aiming to give up fossil fuels as quickly as possible in the Vantaa region by 2026. Vantaa Energy will stop using peat this year already and coal during 2022. Innovative solutions like seasonal thermal energy storage, renewable energy and circular economy are at the heart of the project. The initiative is a good example how companies can support promptly achieving both Finland and the EU’s climate goals by getting down to business when it comes to stopping climate change.
CEO, Vantaan Energia Oy
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