The coronavirus does not stop Helsinki's climate work. The schedule for the international Helsinki Energy Challenge has been altered due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the competition process remains intact despite the changes in the schedule.
Helsinki wants to offer a platform for new, sustainable and innovative solutions, and, on 27 February, the City opened the international Helsinki Energy Challenge. The competition seeks to find solutions, by means of which the city can be heated in a sustainable way without coal and with as little biomass as possible during the upcoming decades. The grand prize of the competition is one million euros. The City of Helsinki lives up to its global responsibility in the fight against climate change and is committed to sharing the results of the competition openly, in order to allow other cities to benefit from them in their own climate work. The role of the cities in the fight against the climate crisis is decisive.
Despite the world situation caused by the coronavirus, the City of Helsinki keeps investing heavily in its climate work. The climate crisis has not been cancelled and the City is still working its way towards a carbon neutral Helsinki. In order to get the best possible result out of the Helsinki Energy Challenge even in this changed situation, it has been decided that the registration phase is prolonged. The prolonged registration phase ends on 30 September 2020. The finalist teams invited to the second phase of the competition are announced in the beginning of November and the winner of the competition will be revealed in March 2021.
“Our competition got off to a great start at the end of February, and the reception has been overwhelmingly positive both in Finland and abroad. It is clear that we have started something unique. However, the changed world situation caused by the coronavirus comes at a difficult stage in respect to our competition. Innovators and potential competitors now need time to adapt to the new situation and prolonging the registration phase of the competition is necessary at this point. The competition process will remain otherwise unaltered. Despite the coronavirus, we need to stick to the climate goals. We still have to get rid of coal and we want to replace it with long-term sustainable solutions. We are fulfilling our responsibility in the fight against the global climate crisis and we will not let it wait until the coronavirus crisis has blown over. Both the Helsinki Energy Challenge and our other climate efforts continue at full strength”, notes Helsinki Mayor Jan Vapaavuori.
During the prolonged registration phase of the Helsinki Energy Challenge, there will be additional webinars and other virtual events, during which the competitors can learn more about the competition, but also look for members to their competition team. Interested parties are encouraged to enter the competition as diversified and cross-disciplinary teams.