Energy services, Much more than just Energy

The threshold for energy poverty in Europe is determined by the proportion of energy costs in total spending of households. As the price of energy rises, increasing numbers of households will inevitably be pushed below the level.

Tractor converted to biogas. Photo: Tapio Kyngäs

 On the other hand, on a global scale, energy poverty refers to a lack of proper energy services. Included in this are the ways in which energy is produced and the resulting damage inflicted on health and the environment.

The Nordic Countries continue to be trailblazers in energy services. In Finland both the state and the private sector produce services of true high quality. Keys to the locks on energy chains are needed more than ever before. Europe wants to be independent of energy imports and to use energy produced in a green manner. The Finnish Government supports the renewal of energy production and many private entities have grabbed the opportunity. Possible examples include the production of biogas suitable as fuel for transport and increasing the number of distribution points on the map. Those driving gas-powered cars will be pleased, and nature is a beneficiary when the need for fossil fuels declines.

This time a seminar of the GREENER cluster project funded by the Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme (Interreg NPA) had as its theme the topical issue of energy services. The event, which was held on 31. March was hosted by Anne Marie McLaughlin of the ERNACT network.

Electricity from the sun

The municipality of Jokkmokk is in Norrbotten County in the north of Sweden. Its surface area is nearly the same as that of Inari, Finland's largest municipality, and has a population of about 5,000. The natural beauty of the area accommodates four national parks and nearly 50 nature reserves. The Luleå River runs through the municipality. Eleven of the fifteen hydropower plants in it are in Jokkmokk Municipality. Owing to the production of large amounts of electricity in the area, and the low price of electric energy there, electricity is the primary form of energy use. According to a study conducted in 2016 in the LECo project, electricity accounted for more than 70 percent of all the energy used in the area.

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