West Finland regions are competent in sustainable, renewable energy production, including wind power, solar energy and bioenergy. New innovations and business opportunities are at the core of development. Circular economy is part of energy production via the biobased side streams of various processes. To enhance research and development in electricity and automatization, the regions invest in energy storage solutions.
EnergyVaasa is a business cluster developing technological solutions for smart grids, maritime industry, renewable energy production and energy efficiency. More than 90% of the national R&D efforts in electricity and automatization are performed in Ostrobothnia, mainly in local companies. Development of hybrid solutions, battery technology and energy storage are conducted jointly with universities and local business. Vaasa Energy Business Innovation Centre (VEBIC) combines this knowledge to create solutions for efficient energy production, business and sustainable solutions for global needs. Platforms in the region include Smart Grid Laboratory, PAC laboratory (Protection, Automation, Control) and Living lab- environment.
In South Ostrobothnia, bioenergy, wind power parks, solar energy, solar and geothermal heat are at the heart of energy development. Best practices in circular economy include smart utilization of side streams from various companies. Also, biogas pilots supporting the transition to clean mobility exists. Renewable energy is promoted at community level, by creating knowledge and new projects.
Satakunta has diverse energy production, that generates energy more than three times the regions’ needs. Investing in energy technology creates new innovations and business opportunities in wind energy, solar energy, hydro energy ang gas and methane. Also, there is nuclear energy expertise in the region. In Satakunta, focus relies primarily on energy production, but there also exists competence in renewable energy, logistics, and availability of the raw materials. Satakunta has potential to increase bioenergy production via wood residues, recycled fuels and via biogas.
Biomass-based energy production has a long tradition in the region, and the share of renewables in energy end use is high. Since 2016, renewable energy production has grown even more, mainly due to energy production at the bioproduct mill in Äänekoski. Biogas connects renewable energy to circular economy. Biogas production has increased in recent years, and the number of biogas vehicles is growing, both in public and private transport. Also CO2 capture and reuse are studied in Central Finland.