Helsinki takes major step towards climate neutrality

Helsinki’s energy company Helen is speeding up the transition to carbon-free energy production and plans to shut down the Salmisaari coal-fired power station five year ahead of schedule, by April 1, 2024. 

Mayor of Helsinki Juhana Vartiainen stated on social media: The Salmisaari coal-fired power plant will be closed by 1 April 2024 – five years earlier than planned. Ending coal use is the most climate-impacting decision we can make in Helsinki and is an important step towards our 2030 carbon neutrality target.

Another Helen’s coal-fired power station Hanasaari’s will close one year earlier, on April 1, 2023. One of the largest Finnish energy companies will progressively transition to decentralised heat generation, in which heat is created, collected, and stored in a number of sites in an emission-free, sustainable, and secure manner.

“This year has strongly paved the way for a carbon-neutral future. The decision to end the use of coal in Salmisaari five years earlier than planned means that we will move more closely to the decentralised energy system. This work has been done at Helen for years. and when the use of coal also ends in Salmisaari, Helen’s and Finland’s carbon dioxide emissions will be significantly reduced, says Juha-Pekka Weckström, CEO of Helen.

Helen has been working on the transition to decentralised heat production and the energy system for many years. Company headquartered in Helsinki’s Sähkötalo wants to rely on green technologies and innovations in order to be able to meet its ambitious energy goals. 

“The decision is significant from the perspective of Finland’s national climate goals. The closure of the Salmisaari coal-fired boiler alone will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 2.4 million tonnes in 2024–2029. Finland’s CO2 emissions will decrease by about 5% with the closure of the Hanasaari and Salmisaari power plants,”said Osmo Soininvaara, Chairman of the Board of Helen.

Earlier this year, the Finnish capital announced it would attempt to reach carbon neutrality by 2030, five year earlier than initially planned. Achieving this goal will necessitate a reduction in emissions of 80% compared to 1990 levels. (photo: Pixabay)