Public Release: 

Low-emission energy solutions should be included in district planning

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland

Mari Hukkalainen (M.Sc. (Eng.)), a Senior Scientist at VTT, studied district energy solutions in her doctoral dissertation. Together with the research team, she developed a tool for an energy efficient district planning to provide benchmarking information for decision makers. Local energy solutions can also open up new business opportunities.

Many energy and environmental goals are geared towards improving energy efficiency, reducing emissions and increasing renewable energy. These issues are resolved in a high number of decisions - and choices between alternative plans - by planners and municipal decision makers, which have a major impact on energy efficiency and emissions at local level.

Energy efficient district planning can be supported by examining the energy demand at district level and comparing the environmental impacts of alternative energy systems. The tool developed during the study will assist in the comprehensive evaluation of district energy systems and their environmental impacts in Finland. It can be used to examine the effects of district planning choices on local energy needs, and to compare the greenhouse gas emissions of different energy production options. The results can bring new options in the discussion and decision making. Hukkalainen examined 14 real life district energy analyses in her dissertation.

Innovative district energy solutions can also generate new business opportunities. In her dissertation, Hukkalainen also developed a set of business concepts and partial concepts that can be combined to develop business models adapted to local operating environments, conditions and needs for district energy services.


Dissertation: Low emission energy systems in energy efficient districts - Holistic energy planning, analysis and business opportunities.

Dissertation: 12.00 on 20 April 2018 at the Aalto University School of Engineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Lecture hall 216, address: Otakaari 4, 02150, Espoo.

For more information, please contact:
Mari Hukkalainen, Senior Scientist
+358 40 736 7698,

Further information on VTT:
Sirpa Posti
Specialist, external communications
+358 20 722 4251

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