Another record in Finland: “Record-high consumption of wood fuels last year”

luke 31-07-2017
Photo: Erkki Oksanen / Luke

Another record in Finland: “Record-high consumption of wood fuels last year”

“In 2016, heating and power plants consumed a total of 19.3 million solid cubic metres of solid fuelwoods, representing an increase of 6 per cent from the previous year, and more than ever before. The total consumption of wood fuels reached an all-time record as well.

In 2016, wood fuels were the most important source of energy in Finland, accounting for 26 per cent of the total energy consumption.

Forest chips used as in the previous year

The most significant solid wood fuel used by heating and power plants was forest chips, the consumption of which increased by one per cent year-on-year to 7.4 million cubic metres.

The use of forest chips in the combined production of heat and power continued to decrease, shrinking by 6 per cent year-on-year to 4.5 million cubic metres, says Senior Statistician Esa Ylitalo of Natural Resources Institute Finland.

However, the use of forest chips in the generation of heat only increased by 14 per cent, to 2.9 million cubic metres. Together with the forest chips burned in small-scale housing, total consumption reached 8.1 million cubic metres.

Small-sized trees the most significant raw material of forest chips

More than half, or 3.9 million cubic metres, of the forest chips consumed by the plants were manufactured from small-sized trees, i.e. pruned small-diameter stems and unpruned small-sized trees. The second most common source, 2.5 million cubic metres, was logging residues. The use of stumps as raw material for forest chips came to 0.8 million cubic metres, and that of large-sized timber, not suitable for the manufacturing of forest industry products, to 0.3 million cubic metres.

The use of solid by-products for energy generation on the rise

Plants consumed 8 per cent more forest industry by-products and wood residues than in the previous year, a total of 10.9 million cubic metres. The main material used in burning was bark, accounting for almost 70 per cent, or 7.3 million cubic metres, of by-product wood. The use of nearly all types of solid wood fuels increased from the previous year. Proportionally, the greatest increase (+31%) was seen in the consumption of wood pellets and briquettes, and recycled wood (+29%).

The consumption of solid wood fuels was highest in the Central Finland region, while most forest chips were burned in Uusimaa and most forest industry by-products and wood residues in South Karelia.

Record-high amounts of wood used in energy generation in 2016

Based on preliminary data by Statistics Finland, the consumption of wood fuels in energy generation was record-high in 2016, a total of 96 terawatt-hours (TWh). Of the total consumption of wood fuels, solid wood fuels of heating and power plants covered 37 TWh, the combustion of black liquor 41 TWh, the small-scale combustion of wood 17 TWh and other wood fuels 2 TWh. Wood fuels were the most important source of energy, accounting for 26 per cent of the total energy consumption.” (Luke News)

The Original news article can be found from Luke´s news section under:

https://www.luke.fi/en/news/record-high-consumption-wood-fuels-last-year/

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Karelia’s CHP-unit to power Joensuu-Jukola – worlds biggest orienteering event

KUAS 19-06-2017

Jukola relay is the worlds biggest orienteering relay event held annually in Finland.  2017 marks the 69th anniversary of Jukola relay and this year Joensuu’s famous orienteering club Kalevan Rasti is the proud host and organizer of the event that is held in Eno, Joensuu.  The Jukola relay has grown in popularity year after year and the Jukola race is expected to attract 40,000 people of whom 16,500 are orienteers participating in the race.

Karelia University’s mobile CHP-unit is essential part of the event’s power management.  The CHP-unit will power the Finnish military expo section and nearby kitchen, lowering significantly the peak power demand from national power grid.  The CHP-unit is a perfect fit for the Joensuu-Jukola event which has slowly but surely grown more sustainable every year. Joensuu-Jukola is the most sustainable Jukola event to date partly due to focusing on renewable on-site energy production.  The Mobile-CHP unit will power the event from Friday morning until Sunday midday to provide spectators and competitors with coffee and freshly baked donuts as well as ensuring the Finnish military expo is properly powered.

Karelia University of Applied Science’s Mobile CHP-unit is capable of producing electricity at rate of 40 kW and simultaneously thermal energy at 100 kW.  The unit is equipped with power storage capable of storing 25kWh of electricity to cope with excessive peak loads and unexpected errors.

Sinikasvis – Biomass-based CHP and PV at farm-scale

Sinikasvis image 09-06-2016

Sinikasvis is a limited partnership located in Sukeva, Northern Savo. The berry farm has unique energy production system consisting of a biomass –based co-production of heat by Spanner Re2 unit and 15 kW PV system.

The Finnish GREBE partners, LUKE and Karelia UAS, visited Sinikasvis for compiling a case study for the GREBE project on biomass-based CHP. The recently invested system, Spanner Re2 (30 kW for electricity, 80 kW for heat) is the first of a kind in the region, but has number of references around Europe. The energy consumption (140 000 kWh/a) is highest in winter peak times, but also in late summer as berry farm needs energy for freezers and dryers. The woodchips are high quality (below 10% moisture and even-sized) and produced by the farmer form his own forest.

Sinikasvis is part of the E-farm network demonstrating renewable energy solutions in Finland. The farm is also producer of Farmivirta – Farm Power – concept of Oulun Energia, selling renewable electricity produced by micro- and small-scale producers.

The GREBE project will prepare a case study report about the Sinikasvis farm, which will then be available as good example case for biomass-based CHP solution for the Northern Periphery regions and GREBE partner countries.

More information available at: E-Farm (In Finnish); Spanner Re2; Farmivirta

Weather records in Finland – Opportunities for renewables

Kuittila Farm CHP

Finland has seen extremes in weather conditions within the recent weeks, December 2015 has been exceptionally mild whereas the new year starts with cold records in January. Those extreme conditions offer chances for renewable energy, especially energy from forest resources.

December 2015 warm – January 2016 cold.

Finland has seen higher temperatures in December 2015 than ever before, with a new record broken on Sunday 20th of December. The exceptionally mild winter continued in Finland, with temperature records broken twice already in December. On 6 December Åland basked in a relatively balmy 11.1 degrees, but that record was broken on Sunday 20th in Kokemäki, where monitoring stations recorded 11.2 degrees.

That has, however, changed now in January. Cold air from the Arctic is dominating weather conditions in Finland, with the coldest temperatures of the winter so far recorded on Wednesday 6th of January. Finland is enveloped in a Siberian deep freeze this week, severe cold continues to chill Finland, with temperatures below -20 degrees Celsius across the country – and a new winter low recorded in Muonio, Lapland. Up there the mercury dipped to -40.7 degrees at 6am on Thursday, before dropping to -41 at 8am. That is colder than at any time this winter. (Sources: Yle)

Opportunities for renewables.

The cold can cause power cuts affecting especially households dependent on electricity for heating, which is still very common in rural areas. Also milder conditions with an increased number of storms cause problems to the supply of energy to the customers. Storms have caused power cuts as a result of trees falling on power lines.

Renewable energy from forests can offer a solution in those extreme conditions. Fireplaces, stoves and other wood-based heating systems often function as back-up systems and additional heating sources. Wood energy consumption per capita in Europe is highest in Finland and Sweden. In Finland, wood-based energy accounts for approximately 85 % of the total consumption of renewable energy.

The use of chopped firewood, pellets or wood chips is very common in the rural parts of Finland. Larger scale combined-heat-and-power (CHP) plants cover the heating of large cities through district heating systems. They are often based on renewables such as wood chips from nearby forests. More than half of the energy wood purchased in the third quarter of 2015 as raw material for forest chips was pruned stemwood. This was the most valuable type of energy wood; crown mass accounted for one third of energy wood sales. (Sources: Natural Resources Institute Finland)

Forest energy based heating systems are ideal when facing extreme weather conditions in the Northern Periphery and Arctic regions. The Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke) is working with forest energy within the GREBE project and will deliver solutions to other regions through technology and know-how transfer.