Mayor Vapaavuori: “Helsinki Energy Challenge is one output of a City-wide mission to reduce our carbon footprint”

Mayor of Helsinki, Jan Vapaavuori, announced four winners from the ten finalists in the Helsinki Energy Challenge which were selected by the international jury. Each will take a share of the €1 million prize fund.

Mayor Vapaavuori said: “Cities must take the energy revolution into their own hands if we are to meet the accelerating challenge presented by climate change. While many cities have the raw ingredients for energy transition, the scale of the challenge requires leaders within city governments to create a policy environment that rejects the status quo and actively stimulates innovation and synthesis. The Helsinki Energy Challenge is one output of a City-wide mission to reduce our carbon footprint. Throughout my mayoralty we have operated under the policy that every action is a climate action. I’m proud that in Helsinki we are leading a search for new solutions that have global potential.”

The four winning proposals are: HIVE, a flexible plan, based on proven technologies and solutions, such as seawater heat pumps, electrical boilers, solar thermal fields and demand side management measures; the plan is capable of integrating new technologies if and when these emerge. Helsinki’s Hot Heart, a system made of 10 floating reservoirs filled with 10 million cubic metres of hot seawater that can receive different energy sources as input, is another winner.  Beyond Fossils, an energy transition model based on open and technology neutral clean heating auctions, paving up the path to carbon neutral Helsinki in a flexible and innovation enabling way. Smart Salt City, a solution that melds a novel thermochemical energy storage and artificial intelligence with commercially available energy technologies is the last winner.

Laura Uuttu-Deschryvere, Project Director of the Helsinki Energy Challenge, City of Helsinki said: “Through the Helsinki Energy Challenge, we have been led to new ways of thinking and approaches which would not necessarily have arisen without this competition. During the one-year-long process, it became clear that there was a need for our exceptional approach. Energy revolution and climate change mitigation require non-traditional means of finding solutions”.

photo credit Marko Hankkila for Unsplash