• Susan

Helsinki Energy Challenge finalists have submitted their proposals

The ten teams selected for the final phase of Helsinki Energy Challenge have submitted their final competition entries. The finalist entries include many different proposals on how Helsinki can stop using coal for heat production as sustainably as possible by 2029.


The finalist teams were selected in November 2020, after which they participated in the co-creation phase of the challenge competition. During the co-creation phase, which included a three day intensive virtual boot camp, the teams received support and information to be able to develop their solutions further.



The final proposals include solutions to solve Helsinki’s heating challenge. The proposals include diverse overall solutions, some of which make use of various heat sources and combine existing technologies in new ways. The entries also include those that make use of new technology. Among the solutions, there are new approaches to heat storage and transfer, waste heat utilisation, energy consumption control and consumer activation. There are also non-technical innovations that enable the realisation of future sustainable solutions and the combination of decentralised and centralised solutions.


Each finalist team includes multiple experts from diverse areas of expertise. The finalists include start ups, large energy and technology companies, research institutes, universities, and other expert organisations, as well as international consortiums of multiple companies.


The teams involve organisations from Finland, Sweden, Denmark, the UK, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Hungary, Austria and France, among other countries. Most of the teams have experts and organisations from multiple countries.


Finalist teams and the winner will be announced in March. The competition’s first prize is one million euros.


Climate change is the biggest challenge of our time, and cities have a key role to play in mitigating it. Helsinki’s goal is to be carbon neutral by 2035. At the moment, more than half of its carbon dioxide emissions come from heating buildings. This is why finding a sustainable heating solution will have a critical impact on the city achieving its carbon neutrality goal. Currently, more than half of Helsinki’s heating energy is produced with coal, the use of which will have to stop by 2029. It wants to find long term sustainable solutions to replace coal, which is why it does not want to replace the use of coal with biomass fired production.