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1. Energy

Espoo’s goal is carbon-neutral district heating in the 2020s and efficient use of renewable energy.

Image: Espoon kaupunki / Olli Häkämies

Energy production generates most of the city’s emissions, and the majority of these emissions come from district heat production. This is why the transition to carbon-neutral district heat production will significantly reduce the city’s greenhouse gas emissions. In the future, carbon-neutral district heat will be produced with renewable energy sources, such as biofuels, and by utilising waste heat and renewable electricity. In order to reach this goal, Espoo cooperates closely with the energy company Fortum, which produces district heat.

In addition to this, other use of renewable energy, such as geothermal heat, solar panels and air source heat pumps, reduces emission levels compared to the greenhouse gas emissions generated by fossil fuels. Energy security is also improved by the transition from limited fossil fuels to constantly renewing energy sources. Espoo is steering operators towards using decentralised renewable energy through zoning and guidance, and it is discontinuing the oil heating of city-owned properties.

Of course, it is also important to reduce energy needs: when we only use as much energy as we actually need, energy production and the emissions it generates can be reduced comprehensively. Energy efficiency can be improved by many means, such as more efficient use of space, phased ventilation outside hours of occupancy, night-time temperature reductions, LED lighting and optimised energy consumption (e.g. flexible consumption, energy analyses).