Energy efficiency is a key factor in energy production – from both an economic and environmental perspective. Improving energy efficiency at power plants refers to measures we implement to increase the efficiency of production processes or reduce the energy consumption of plants or equipment. This enables us to produce more electricity or heat for our customers without increasing the amount of fuel.
The energy efficiency of power plants can be increased with technical modifications, by systematic and preventive maintenance, and by training personnel in the optimal operation of the plant and in monitoring the plant’s operating economy. Improving power plant availability also increases energy efficiency, as unnecessary start-ups are reduced.
In fuel-based energy production, we aim to utilise the fuel’s energy as efficiently as possible. Our most important means to improve the energy efficiency of fuel use is to increase combined heat and power (CHP) production. In CHP production, up to 90% of the energy content of the fuels can be utilised; separate electricity production’s efficiency is about 60% at best.
At the end of 2015 we commissioned a new natural gas-powered CHP unit at our Chelyabinsk GRES power plant in Russia. The new unit’s output is 247 MW electricity and 174 MW heat. Another similar unit will be completed in the first half of 2016. Construction of a new CHP power plant started in Zabrze, Poland. The plant is scheduled for completion in 2018. The new power plants will replace existing old plants and thus improve the efficiency of energy production in the area.
The following were some of the energy-efficiency improvement projects completed in 2015:
- Kapeli solar power plant in India
- Suomenoja heat pump station in Finland
- Joensuu power plant’s flue-gas condenser in Finland
- Refurbishments of hydropower plants in Sweden and Finland
- Refurbishments of turbine plants in Russia
In all, the energy-efficiency improvement projects implemented in 2015 are calculated to yield an annual energy savings of 559 GWh.
Target within reach
Fortum’s target is to achieve an annual energy savings of more than 1,400 GWh by 2020 compared to 2012. By the end of 2015, about 1,240 GWh of this target had been achieved.
We are participating in the European electricity sector’s Energy Wisdom programme
, and we report to the programme on our projects that improve energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gases.
Energy efficiency services for businesses…
For decades now, our operation and maintenance services have been improving the energy efficiency of our customers’ power plants. Our energy-efficiency services and expertise bring our customer plants financial benefits and save the environment.
…and for homes
We have introduced many energy-efficiency services for private customers in Finland and Sweden. Fortum’s customers can use the new services to, e.g., monitor their energy consumption in real-time and optimise the heating of their home.