The Evolution of Energy Infrastructure

Infrastructure investment in the Finnish grid means a new approach to energy.

Published 02.02.2018

The next decade will see massive investment in the Finnish electricity grid and infrastructure to satisfy the requirements of new legislation after storms provoked major power outages across the country, and started a chain reaction where the demands of security of supply were severy tightened by the regulation authority.

“The challenge for all the industry players is to increase efficiency, while at the same time reducing emissions”

Much of this 8,6 billion euro investment by 2029 will be in underground cabling as long-term insurance against severe weather and punitive outage charges, updating equipment such as sub-stations, and implementing the new wave of ICT solutions that are using the potential of big data to increase efficiency across the entire energy network.

This investment program comes at a time when energy companies are already under increasing pressure, with the integration of renewables from across the Nordic region, the introduction of new generators, and the development of smart energy systems. The challenge for all the industry players is to increase efficiency, while at the same time reducing emissions and making the grid as stable and as reliable as possible during rapid changes in the operating environment.

The response of the industry to these challenges, and to the huge cost of investment, is to seek new business models to increase grid efficiency, optimize demand response and load forecasting, and streamline business processes within an energy data eco-system, driven by a common ICT platform that benefits all the energy players. It’s also an opportunity for national utilities like Fingrid to work closely with new technology partners, like Enoro, on the introduction of micro-grids, specialized data analytics and shared ICT platforms. By partnering with technology companies and creating energy data eco-systems, there is opportunity to gain the maximum value from the network spectrum by reacting to changes in the grid system and power usage in real time.

The potential of utilizing real-time data generated through smart meters is already being realized by Finnish data analytics specialists like Enoro, who are the R&D partners on the current Finnish Energy Data Eco-Systems (EDES) project. Utilytics use real-time data to ensure low and stable consumption, demand response solutions, accurate load forecasting, as well as monitoring the electricity marketplace and consumer behavior to increase cost efficiency. The dialogue with the consumer, through smart meter data, is a major component of the new approach to energy services alongside the changes to the physical infrastructure.

 

Thanks to Jaakko Huhta, Analytics Vice President at Enoro,
for contributing to this article.

Continue discussion with Jaakko at jaakko.huhta@enoro.com

 

"The Finnish grid is also pioneering
radically new smart energy infrastructure projects"

The Finnish grid is also pioneering radically new smart energy infrastructure projects, like the Sello Shopping Centre powered microgrid, with its autonomous solar power systems and batteries connected to the main grid. With microgrids in commercial buildings, and homes that are increasingly capable of producing and storing electricity, in addition to the growing connections to the grid of renewables, investors in infrastructure have a vision for the future beyond the simple renewal of aging equipment and the weather proofing of services.

An eco-system of Finnish energy services working together with ICT specialists can bring smarter energy solutions to the changing nature of generation, distribution and consumption in an increasingly complex environment. To achieve these goals, established Finnish utilities are working with new technology partners, in research and development, and in technologies such as specialized data analytics, in order to develop one of the world’s most sustainable and efficient national grids.

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Jaakko Huhta

Vice President, Analytics
Tel: +358 400 292 257
Email: jaakko.huhta@enoro.com