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Climate change mitigation is possible with the correct tools

Matias 2022Vantaa Energy aims to be a carbon-negative company by 2030. The project has progressed on schedule, and measures to reach the targets are taken right now.

Climate change is one of the greatest threats of our time to the wellbeing of people and the environment. One of the key methods of climate change mitigation is reducing the carbon footprint. Vantaa Energy has pledged to be carbon negative by 2030. The measures to implement this target have already produced significant, visible results.

Vantaa Energy’s journey towards carbon negativity started already in the early 2010s. That is when we decided on the first concrete measures to reduce fossil fuel use and carbon dioxide emissions. In 2014, we commissioned the Vantaa waste-to-energy plant, the waste heat of which is utilised in district heating. The waste-to-energy plant reduces the consumption of fossil fuels in a concrete way, as does the Martinlaakso bioenergy heating plant commissioned in 2019.

– Last year, we ended the use of peat, and this year we will phase out the use of coal. We are planning to phase out the use of natural gas by 2026. Natural gas is the last of the fossil energy sources we use, says Matias Siponen, Business Development Manager, City Energy, at Vantaa Energy.

The company also has the ongoing power-to-gas project, which is scheduled for commissioning in 2025. Upon implementation, the plant will be one of the largest industrial-scale plants in Finland, producing carbon-neutral, synthetic methane on a commercial scale with a thermal input of 10 MW. In addition, 95 per cent of the electricity generated by Vantaa Energy will be climate neutral in 2026.

– In addition to the carbon capture solutions, we have ongoing projects aiming to completely remove carbon from the atmosphere. There are, for example, projects where carbon can be sequestered back into soil in connection with earth construction, Siponen described.

Green transition is not a strain on the customer’s purse

Environmental awareness among Vantaa Energy’s customers has grown steadily. It is hoped that people will make even more choices for a greener future. Customers’ choices are a strong driver that defines everything that Vantaa Energy does.

– It is often said that the green transition involves huge costs. Our aim is to meet the challenges related to our customers’ energy use and to sustainable development with cost-effective solutions. Thanks to innovative solution models, the green transition can be implemented in an economically feasible way, and therefore it does not always mean, for example, higher energy bills. Customers create a demand for new products and services, and we make sure to meet that demand, Siponen promises.

The promises made by the company are the cornerstones of the strategy and the key targets directing its operations. The schedule is adhered to and until now it has been a great success.

– Vantaa Energy’s customers can trust that they will receive the green product we have promised because our operations are strictly regulated and we are using the appropriate certification systems.

New technologies at the core of development

Vantaa Energy’s path to carbon negativity is based on new and innovative technologies. Although the leap to the unknown is a risk, it can also be viewed as a great opportunity.

– This testifies to our courage and our operating culture. Naturally, competent and reliable partners are also needed in the development work, Siponen describes.

The company is constantly building partnerships with customers and technology companies. You never know which cooperation produces synergy and cost-effectiveness that ultimately benefits the customers and the environment.

Cooperation with technology organisations is fruitful in many ways. Vantaa Energy offers new innovations an opportunity to scale operations to a higher scale. In other words, at best, we offer Finnish technology companies a platform and a springboard for exports.

We urgently need new technologies and innovations – climate change will not wait. Siponen points out that Finland has a very good chance of being a forerunner in climate change mitigation and of reaping the benefits of it on a wide scale. In order to be a country that exports climate-neutral technology, we must get industrial-scale demo projects off the ground at a rapid pace