Helsinki Launches €1 Mn Competition to Find Sustainable Heating Solns for the City

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With an aim to eliminate coal as the main source of district heating, Helsinki, the capital of Finland, on Thursday has kicked off the ‘Helsinki Energy Challenge’ – a global Eur 1 million competition to find the future of urban heating.

The City of Helsinki, Finland

As per the terms of the challenge, in order to find a solution sustainable in the long term, the ideas presented will not rely on fossil fuel or biomass-fired heating.

The move came as the city aimed to become carbon-neutral by 2035 and the coal is also banned from energy production in Finland from 2029.

Thus, the city of Helsinki wants to take things one step further and declared that it will not rely on biomass-fired heating, making its energy production, not just fossil-free, but truly sustainable.

In line with its commitment to decarbonisation, Helsinki Mayor Jan Vapaavuori has launched a global Eur 1 million challenge competition and urged innovators from across the globe to propose game-changing solutions for the future of urban heating.

Commenting on the development, Jan Vapaavuori, Mayor of Helsinki, said that “solving the urban heating challenge is crucial to reach global climate goals. Cities have a key role to play in the transition to a low carbon economy, and Helsinki is now taking an initiative to lead the way. We invite innovators from all around the world to use our city as a testbed to develop not just fossil-free, but truly sustainable, solutions. Together, we will create the future of heating to fight global warming.”

Further, the goal is to find solutions that can be implemented in Helsinki by 2029 and that potentially could contribute to decarbonising city heating around the world.

The ‘Helsinki Energy Challenge’ is open globally to anyone who can propose a sustainable heating solution for the city – consortiums, start-ups, larger and more established companies, research institutions, universities, research groups and individual experts.

However, the only requirement is that participants will join the competition as a team.

The last date to participate in the challenge is May 31, 2020, and in early July, the finalists will be invited to a co-creation phase, which includes a three-day boot camp, where they will be provided support to develop their proposals, before presenting them to an international jury of experts who will name the winner/s.

Moreover, the winning solution/s will be presented in the month of November and awarded with Eur 1 million.

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Manu Tayal

Manu is an Associate Editor at Saur Energy International where she writes and edits clean & green energy news, featured articles and interview industry veterans with a special focus on solar, wind and financial segments.