Swedish Environmental Research Institute (IVL) (Sweden): Kristina Lygnerud 
Resourceful Futures (UK): Chris Garside 
EKSTA Bostäder (Sweden): Christer Kilersjö
EDF Group (France): Christian Keim
European Institute for Energy Research (Germany): Guillaume Bardeau
Ochsner Process Energy Systems (Germany): Karl Ochsner
EURAC Research (Italy): Marco Cozzini 
LKAB WASSARA (Sweden): Stefan Swartling
Metropolia University of Applied Sciences (Finland): Antti Tohka

The core idea of team CarbonHelSinki is to design a District Heating System (DHS) for Helsinki that is circular and focused on making use of heat that is otherwise lost. 

The solution phases out coal by 2029. By the Year 2030, the annual CO2 emissions of heat generation are estimated to decrease 15-fold, i.e., from above 2500 ktCO2 in 2020 down to around 150 kt CO2. This is achieved by building a system that is highly flexible. A key feature is the capacity to make use of different heat sources when they are most cost efficient to use.

We keep the existing DHS as the backbone for the city to which we link several heat sources. One of the new key sources of energy in our proposal is the utilization of waste heat. The largest one of these would be waste heat from the nearby industrial area. In addition, heat pumps utilizing sewage water, other low temperature heat sources, solar, outdoor air and sea water are expected to provide a substantial part of the heat demand. We combine the heat sources with different thermal energy solutions (TES), of which the borehole solution is most important.

Apart from technical solutions we have included business development for DH (supporting a transition from production to distribution focus), a financing solution for the Helsinki energy transition and an inclusive approach generating knowledge about energy and creating jobs locally. Our solution establishes an energy highway of knowledge and engagement linked to advanced energy hub in Eastern Helsinki. This is an area for implementing living labs to engage citizens, foster innovation and generate new knowledge.

CarbonHelSinki team has modelled numerous options for decarbonizing the heating in Helsinki, and identified the most cost efficient solution. To the modelling results, real life experiences have been added resulting in a stepwise transition of Helsinki on its way towards becoming a carbon neutral city in 2035.

CarbonHelSinki: The full competition entry  PDF  

Media contact:

Kristina Lygnerud, Swedish Environmental Research Institute (IVL), tel. +46 727086626, kristina.lygnerud ( at )


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