Beyond Fossils

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland: Åsa Hedman – Tomi J. Lindroos
Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE): Karoliina Auvinen – Hannu Savolainen
Hansel: Pasi Tainio
Aleksi Lumijärvi (independent expert)

The “BEYOND fossils” concept proposal is an energy transition management model based on clean heating auctions. It ensures cost-effective investments in clean heating solutions in rapidly developing low-carbon energy markets and paves up the path to carbon neutral Helsinki in a flexible way. Implementation of the model will end the era of coal by 2029 and reduce the overall greenhouse gas life cycle emissions by 80%, while energy security is assured simultaneously.

The goal to replace coal by 2029 requires several parallel measures with a very tight schedule. Energy demand needs to be reduced and new clean production capacity has to be installed. To enable this, the best solutions on the market are needed. Energy technologies and solutions are developing rapidly, and the best options today might not be similar to the best ones in 2029. Regular and frequent clean heating auctions is a flexible approach and will enable that the very best heating sources are implemented on a yearly basis.

Open and technology-neutral approach to clean heating auctions is the most cost-effective, innovation enabling, and inclusive approach to reach a carbon neutral Helsinki. Technology-neutrality will maximize the cost-efficiency of the system as it results in the cheapest clean heat sources deployed first due to competition of different solutions, companies, and technologies. The City of Helsinki can set specific requirement for the auctions, such as excluding biomass combustion technologies, and fossils fuels.  

According to current technology cost assumptions, the main new technologies would be heat pumps using ground, air, water and excess heat streams as heat sources. There will be significant additional costs in the investment phase, which however lead to reduced energy costs afterwards. The overall heating costs would not increase from the current levels.

Auction based approach is a practical model to implement the best technical solutions of the proposals sent to Helsinki Energy Challenge.

Beyond fossils: The full competition entry  PDF

Media contact:

Åsa Hedman, VTT, tel. +358 40 570 3798, asa.hedman ( at )


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