Turku will soon be heated with only renewable energy

News article

The production of Turku Energia is already 80 % renewable and the goal of 100 % is well within reach.

– We already began our marathon towards carbon neutrality at the turn of the millennium when we began developing our own energy production, says CEO Timo Honkanen.

– The greatest thing about my work is that I get to promote practical change in the energy industry in my home town, agrees Product Group Manager Lotta Lyytikäinen.

The company’s hybrid strategy does not place all of the eggs in the same basket. Turku Energia's district heating is produced using biofuels in the multifuel plant in Naantali and other smaller plants in the Turku area. The heat pump facility in Kakola, for example, produces district heating and cooling from purified waste water.

– We are currently planning to establish a geothermal heating plant. We are also studying if heat could be extracted from clean water as well as waste water together with Turku's water department, says Honkanen. 

Carbon neutrality is not just climate action, but economic action. Our proceeds grow but our customer prices fall.

The energy company also supplies solar panels to the Meyer dock in Turku and provides charge services for electric cars and buses. 

– Carbon neutrality is not just climate action, but economic action. Our proceeds grow but our customer prices fall.

Lotta Lyytikäinen enjoys the versatility of her job.

– At my workstation high heels and safety shoes go side by side. Before the pandemic I might have spent the morning visiting a pellet burning plant with a stakeholder in safety shoes and switching to high heels for a customer event that evening. 

Housing cooperatives and detached house owners are our largest customer groups.

– My role in the team is to check, for example, how a housing cooperative's heating is realised – do we need to update the heat distribution centre or how should we prepare for a pipeline renovation project. We also often visit housing cooperative meetings to talk about current heating-related issues, says Lyytikäinen.

More and more customers want to purchase 100 % green district heating. 

– The most crucial issue in energy production is getting rid of fossil fuels. Burning is transitionary technology and the goal is to create more and more heating using heat pumps and waste heat.
Once we have reached carbon neutrality, the next goal is carbon negativity, in which operations bind more carbon than they emit and thus remove carbon from atmosphere.

Turku Energia

  • CEO: Timo Honkanen
  • Turnover: €253 million
  • Business result: €21.7 million
  • Ownership: Turun Seudun Energiantuotanto Oy 43.5 %, Svartisen Holding AS 34.74 %, Suomen Hyötytuuli Oy 12.5 %, Voimaosakeyhtiö SF OY 3.76 %, Kolsin Voima Oy 22.5 %
  • Based in: Turku
  • Number of employees: 338
  • Founded: 1898
  • Customers: households, companies

This article is part of TEK's 125 year anniversary series, where we present Finnish companies that advance sustainability in their operations. Check out all of the articles.