In 2019, EPV Energy produced significant commercial added value for its owners in relation to the general market price. Its emissions also dropped significantly compared to the previous year. This is proof that we are on the right path towards the Finnish Government and EU’s target to make Finland and Europe carbon neutral. This is also in line with EPV’s own strategy, and we have set our sights in all our activities on a zero-emission electricity and heating system.
Finland’s largest heat storage facility to be built in Vaasa
One of the key investment decisions of 2019 as regards zero emissions was the heat storage facility to be built in the Vaskiluoto district of Vaasa. When complete, it will be the largest in the country. It will make it possible to develop a new kind of emission-free heating system. In the short run, the heat storage facility will significantly reduce the consumption of coal and, in the long run, it will significantly ease the implementation of emission-free district heating solutions in the future.
We also carried out land trade in the area of the Vaskiluodon Voima power plant where the Wärtsilä Smart Technology Hub is being built. The large subterranean infrastructure work was carried out efficiently and in record time without disruptions to power generation. Our new neighbour, the Smart Tech Hub, will make extensive development of the area possible.
Investment decision on EPV’s fifth industrial-scale wind farm
The most significant investment decision in the business area of EPV Windpower and New Technology was the building of 21 new wind turbines in Teuva. These wind turbines will considerably increase the share of renewable electricity within our range of energy generation. The Teuva wind farm will be EPV’s fifth industrial-scale wind farm, but also our first to be built entirely under market conditions. This is an important landmark in the history of EPV’s wind power construction.
2019 was a fairly busy year for EPV’s Electricity Transmission business due to the number of new wind power connections. Commercial greenhouses also joined the grid actively. This is also the first year that the previously separate regional grid companies operated under one company. The year went extremely well, and operational network security in our region remained good throughout the year.
Nuclear power plants broke power generation records
In 2019, the Olkiluoto nuclear power plant unit 1 had its best production year ever and units 1 and 2 combined had their second best production year ever. The completion of Olkiluoto unit 3, on the other hand, was delayed, as its completion date and the date of going into commercial use were postponed until 2021. The production year for hydroelectric power was normal. Our agreement with Rapid Power on hydropower generation expired at the end of 2019.
We are preparing for a zero-emission energy system and waiting for developments in technology
EPV is currently working on its new strategy. The overarching framework for our operations is our work to reduce the emissions of energy generation until they are zero. That is why one of the cornerstones of our strategy is our objective to achieve 100% emission-free electricity and heating systems. Achieving zero emissions is by no means easy and as the technologies of the future are not yet available, we are having to anticipate and partly also to wait for their advancement. However, we are looking to the future with great positivity due to the fact that some innovative technologies have been created over the last decade for generating renewable electricity. Over the next decade, new technologies will have to be developed to fully capitalise on them.
An emission-free electricity and heating system requires synthetic fuel to work, and various technologies for the manufacture of such fuels are currently being developed by several players in the world. Synthetic fuel will allow us to move to an entirely new kind of energy system. We believe that renewable electrical energy will be stored as synthetic fuel in the future and turned from fuel back to electrical or thermal energy as needed. The function of synthetic fuel will be to replace fossil fuels as reserve power and balancing power.
Employees are the power behind all progress
Interesting times lie ahead, with plenty of things to explore, drive forward and develop. For this we need top experts – our personnel. I want to extend a warm thank you to all our employees and partners for their vital work towards promoting increasingly efficient and emission-free energy generation.