Opportunities for networking - SPARCS team also met the representative of the Horizon2020 IRIS -project in Vaasa Energy week
27 march 2024 | Location: Espoo

The Espoo SPARCS team visited Vaasa’s annual energy week  on 11.3.2024. The event was attended by a large number of experts from all over Finland, with various representatives of the municipalities, companies, politicians, government officials and other organizations. The theme of the 2024 seminar was Europe’s energy resilience in geopolitical change.

An afternoon-long seminar offered an interesting mix of speakers from both public sector and companies about the current energy topics and future transition and trends. What are the topical issues of energy and climate in the European Union and in Finland? How can Europe compete with the United States? Can Finland be a pioneer in the hydrogen economy?

“Looking at any urban topic – energy, mobility, smart city solutions – highlights how interconnected everything is. A system level approach is needed when we think about urban transformation and the different tools through which we affect it, and what kind of direct or less visible consequences those actions have.”  – Jani Tartia

“As energy resilience becomes a more discussed theme within the energy sector, we must follow upon what benefits SPARCS can provide through district-level solutions, increased use of flexibility and smart technologies. New smart energy solutions, enabling the use of local flexible loads, can be important in enabling more balanced and resilient energy grids.” – Joni Mäkinen

Afternoon continued with interesting panel discussion: “The green transition in danger – there is a will, where do the actions linger?” between politicians and private sector representatives. The panel discussed how to enable the competitiveness of the EU and Finland in green transition investments and what are the drives and hurdles of green transition in Finland especially.

“It was interesting to hear the panel discussion between the politicians and private sector representatives. There are no easy answers to the complex topic like green transition and how to secure investments, but there seemed to be some kind of common ground about some of the drives, like need for expertise, and barriers, like permit processes.” – Iina Turunen

All and all, the visit was insightful, and it was great to see so many attendees from all over the country. “It was true pleasure to visit Vaasa Energy week. Vaasa, one of the oldest cities in Finland, history dating back to 1300s, has a very special place in my heart as I was born and lived my first years in the city before moving to Helsinki. It is amazing how the city with strong attitude and versatile collaboration (business and academia) has turned into energy capital of Finland and one of leading energy cities in the whole Europe. There is much to learn both from city aspect and technology too.” – Elina Wanne