DIGITAL AGENDA BEST PRACTICES
Renewable (wood-based) energy region

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Best Practice:
Renewable (wood-based) energy region
Digital Agenda Category:
Research & Innovation
Status:
Operational in Current Region
Producing Project:
CO2FREE
Implementing Region:
North Karelia
Implementing Organisation:
Regional Council of North Karelia
Joensuu in North Karelia is the foremost centre of expertise for the Finnish forestry business. Extensive research and education are carried out here at the highest level and many of the major companies of the sector are represented. During recent years, the bio-energy cluster of North Karelia has grown quickly and today has a turnover of 120 M € and provides the equivalent of 1 000 full time jobs.

The use of renewable energy today represents 63 % of the total energy consumption of the region including energy for heating, power generation and fuel for transportation. 78 % of this energy comes, naturally enough, from wood-based bio-fuel (industry by-products, woodchips, firewood and pellets). This project aims to broaden knowledge about renewable energy sources, particularly regarding ground heat, solar energy, renewable fuel and wind power.

The presumption is that the results will contribute to the development of a new energy and climate programme for the region, with 2020 as the target year. By this date it is estimated that the same amount of energy for heating and power generation is produced by renewable energy sources. Oil Free Region 2030 means that North Karelia is producing more renewable energy products than using totally energy in the region. It also means that the region will not be dependent of fossil oil anymore.

The most important stages in the project:
- Establishing a management system and forms for collaboration in the project which include representatives from all the interested parties. The principal aims are to provide the competence needed and to enable important transfers of knowledge between the partners.

Benefits of the project:
- Wood based energy sources can be complemented with other types of renewable energy.
- Increased opportunities to develop entirely new ideas and products in collaborations that bring together the high level of expertise already existing in the region and new expert knowledge provided by the project.
- Opportunities to convert this knowledge into new services and products that are in demand around the world and in this way to favour the development of the region.
- Increased control and security regarding the energy provision of the region.
- Every measure to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy sources provides a marked reduction in CO2 emissions.

Success factors:
- Good project leadership and organisation (including communication, partnership, etc.).
- High level of expert knowledge in the relevant energy areas.
- Strong political support.
- Functioning laws and regulations.
- Wenet (the Wood Energy Network) and all other forms of collaboration at the local, regional, EU and global levels.
- Good financing.
- Strong common determination from all those involved to reach the overall goal of becoming a region that is completely independent of oil.
- Good possibilities to measure and follow developments.


If you would like to know more, please contact:
Pasi Pitkänen
Telephone: +358 400 832 572
E-mail: pasi.pitkanen@pohjois-karjala.fi
More information about this Good Practice: www.pohjois-karjala.fi/maakuntaliitto

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