In Finland, the price of electricity experiences significant daily fluctuations. This is primarily attributed to the generation of electric energy by nuclear power stations, which operate at a constant output around the clock. Additionally, a substantial portion of energy is derived from wind sources, where the variable nature of wind speed leads to unpredictability in energy production levels. Finally, variations in energy demand during workdays and weekends contribute to these price fluctuations. In the future this fluctuation will be even bigger due to new investments in wind and solar will be ready.
As an example, in September, as we gradually begin to heat our homes, the electricity price drops to nearly zero on some days, particularly during weekends. However, during peak hours, prices can surge to approximately 40 cents per kilowatt-hour.
If we were able to store heat energy during off-peak hours and utilize it during peak hours, electric heating would emerge as the most cost-effective method for heating our homes. Presently, many city energy companies achieve this by constructing expansive electric boiler plants. Naturally, the energy supplied through district heating pipelines carries the associated cost of this medium.
However, if we could independently store this heat, we would not only secure a more economical option but also enhance the reliability of our home heating systems. Technologies like Finnshield enable us to accomplish this feat.
Indeed, adopting such a system would also result in the least environmental impact, characterized by significantly reduced CO2 emissions. Our average carbon footprint from energy sources such as nuclear, solar, hydro, and wind stands below 30 grams per kilowatt-hour. In contrast, combustion systems responsible for generating district heating yield emissions over ten times greater when measured from the stack of the boiler plant, rather than from the standpoint of political decision-makers.
It’s worth noting that wood, despite being considered a renewable resource, can yield even higher CO2 levels than coal when burned. This is particularly concerning when we consider that materials like sawdust, which have the potential to be transformed into long-term carbon storage products such as furniture, are being used for combustion. This practice represents a missed opportunity for sustainable resource utilization.