Press release

Solar Economy professorship for Lappeenranta University of Technology, Fortum to support the start-up of operations

26 September 2012, 13:00 EEST

PRESS RELEASE 26 September 2012

Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT) will establish a solar economy professorship, which is the first in its research field in Finland. Fortum will support the start-up of operations with a 75% share for a period of five years, from 2013 to 2017. The professorship will strengthen LUT’s curriculum in electricity, energy and environmental technology.  

The way Fortum sees it, the energy sector is moving towards a solar economy that is based on a flexible and efficient energy system and emissions-free energy production.   

The new professorship will focus on the research and functioning of market mechanisms related to a solar economy. The goal is to produce knowledge that enables the increased use of new sustainable energy production forms that utilises sun's energy directly or indirectly in the most economically viable way.

”In the development of energy systems, there must be a balanced approach to the realisation of the EU’s three objectives – competitive, sustainable and secure energy. The transition to a solar economy requires significant changes also in energy transmission and distribution, in storage, and in energy use. In Germany, for example, the 29,000 MW of solar power brought online quickly is a significant producer of clean electricity, but, at the same time, it is also a challenge to manage the entire electricity system,” says Professor Olli Pyrhönen from Lappeenranta University of Technology.  

”The new professorship supports our vision towards a solar economy. We need to move from the traditional energy system into a new for the future. The amount of renewable energy production is continuously increasing and that creates challenges to the way the current energy market operates. So we see a need for education, research and development that takes into account the overall energy system including also the customers and energy market,” says Fortum’s Per Langer, Executive Vice President, Fortum.  

The long-term goal of Fortum’s research and development efforts is to enable a sustainable, carbon dioxide-free future for the company. Collaboration with universities and research facilities is an integral part of Fortum’s research and development work. The company collaborates with several universities and colleges in the countries where it has operations.   

Fortum Corporation
Corporate Communications


Additional information:  
Jarmo Partanen, Professor, Lappeenranta University of Technology,
jarmo [dot] partanen [at] lut [dot] fi, +358 40 5066564  
Jouni Keronen, Vice President, Innovation Development and Partnering, Fortum Corporation,
jouni [dot] j [dot] keronen [at] fortum [dot] com,  +358 10 453 4881      


Fortum's purpose is to create energy that improves life for present and future generations. We provide sustainable solutions that fulfil the needs for low emissions, resource efficiency and energy security, and deliver excellent value to our shareholders. Our activities cover the generation, distribution and sales of electricity and heat as well as related expert services.  

Fortum's operations focus on the Nordic countries, Russia, Poland and the Baltics. In the future, the integrating European and fast-growing Asian energy markets provide additional growth opportunities. In 2011, Fortum’s sales totalled EUR 6.2 billion and comparable operating profit was EUR 1.8 billion. We employ approximately 10,800 people. Fortum’s shares are quoted on NASDAQ OMX Helsinki.    

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