Electricity will play a central role in fulfilling constantly growing global energy demand. At the same time the challenges of sustainability, such as climate change and other environmental effects as well as diminishing natural resources necessitate a transition from power production based on the use of limited energy sources and fuel combustion to a more efficient energy system with lower emissions. The future solar economy will utilise the sun’s energy either directly as solar power or heat or indirectly as hydro, wave and wind energy, bio energy and geothermal heat.
“We are researching technologies that may bring future breakthroughs in energy production, and we are participating in numerous solar economy development projects. We already utilise hydropower and bio energy on a broader scale in our production. Fortum believes that future eco-cities will be based on smart grids, eco-efficient construction, electric transportation as well as sustainable heating solutions, and we are taking part in developing these,” said Anne Brunila, Executive Vice President, Corporate Relations and Sustainability, Fortum.
Smart grids and development of the energy markets required
According to the International Energy Agency, the importance of electricity in tomorrow's society will grow, and it will replace the use of traditional fuels. In the solar economy, the electricity load adapts to production and electricity production will be both centralised and distributed. In the future, smart grids will make it possible for electricity consumers to also produce and sell electricity.
In addition to technological development, decisions on energy policies are central in realising the solar economy. Electricity markets based on open competition both in the wholesale and retail sectors will advance innovation and cost efficient energy solutions. Social and political acceptance of numerous energy forms ensures a stable, consistent and market-based investment environment, are absolute requirements for new investments.
Anne Brunila's presentation was heard at an event discussing the requirements for a solar economy, hosted by Fortum and attended by WWF and Aalto University.
Petra Lundström, Vice President, Chief Technology Officer, Fortum, tel. +358 10 45 35422, petra [dot] lundstrom [at] fortum [dot] com
Kari Kankaanpää, Sustainability Manager, Climate and Environmental affais, Fortum, p. +358 10 45 32330, kari [dot] t [dot] kankaanp%C3%A4%C3%A4 [at] fortum [dot] com (kari.t.kankaanpää@fortum.com)
Ulla Rehell, Vice President, Sustainability, Fortum, p. +358 10 45 29251, ulla [dot] rehell [at] fortum [dot] com