These pages introduce and discuss phenomena and themes that are important for the future of the world from the perspective of energy and mitigating climate change. We need to move towards a cleaner world – fast. We can no longer build our wellbeing on the consumption of finite resources. To decarbonize entire societies and industries, the world needs much more clean energy than there is available today. Optimizing today’s energy production, making it as CO2-low and efficient as possible, is part of solving climate challenges. The 2020s will be the decade of electrification and turning waste into resources.
Climate change is forcing the world to decarbonise quickly. Yet, at the same time, energy consumption is increasing. The technology needed for a clean energy system is already available, but how do you find the right balance and ensure that there is always a sufficient supply of energy available at a reasonable cost? A key component is energy flexibility.
Wind power production has developed rapidly in a very short time. As a clean, renewable source of energy, its role in electricity production is growing as the EU and other countries strive to reduce their CO2 emissions and dependence on fossil fuels. Electrification is an important step on the way to carbon-neutrality, but it means that our need for electricity will increase. Especially in the north, wind power is the dominating form of new renewable sources of energy.
Fossil fuels must be phased out – in electricity production as well as in industry, heating and transportation. Above all, this is a battle against climate change. To stop global warming, energy must be produced and consumed in new, sustainable ways. It’s an enormous challenge, but it can be solved. When the production of clean electricity has been mainstreamed, the next step is to electrify everything that can be electrified. How is this possible? Is hydrogen the missing piece to the energy equation?
Reducing transportation emissions requires new kinds of solutions to replace fossil fuels. Electricity offers a solution for passenger cars, and hydrogen is expected to be a similar solution for the needs of heavy-duty transportation. What does the electric future of transportation look like? How can you be part of the future of transportation?
Most climate change will be tackled in urban areas. Buildings use nearly 40 per cent of all the energy consumed in Finland, and they cause more than 30 per cent of the carbon emissions. District heating is a superb solution as we transition quickly and on a large scale towards emission-free heating. In the future, we will see more and more district heating that transfers waste heat from data centres and industry to buildings, as well as heating based on renewable electricity.
Natural gas, i.e. methane, is the cleanest of fossil fuels; its CO2 emissions are about half of that of coal and just one-third of brown coal emissions. Replacing coal with gas reduces total emissions by hundreds of millions of tonnes annually in Europe. In the long term, natural gas also must be replaced with clean gas to reduce emissions to zero. But what is clean gas? What role does clean gas play in the future energy system?