Finland is keen to showcase its expertise in an assortment of clean energy technologies to India’s Energy Minister Piyush Goyal when he visits the country later this month.

From the Wartsila, a well-known name in India, to commercial enterprises with local operations such as Valmet and Vantaa Energy, Finnish companies are keen to tell the Minister what they can do in India.

Clean energy options

Journalists from India, who visited Finland last week on an invitation of the Finnish Embassy in New Delhi, were exposed to a number of clean energy options that the Nordic country can offer India. These range from solutions to keeping the electricity grid stable when power is supplied from renewable energy sources, to producing energy from municipal waste and utilising waste heat for centralised cooling.

For instance, Wartsila, a company known in India for its large engines that produce electricity from oil or gas, is keen to demonstrate how its technology can be integrated in solar farms, so that the power output is stable and predictable.

Ensuring stable electricity

The 182-year-old company, which started off as a marine engine company and owned many shipyards in the Nordic region in the mid-twentieth century, is today into many.

Javier Cavada, President, Energy Solutions & Executive Vice-President, Wartsila Corporation, believes that solar and wind farms married to gas or oil fired engines can produce stable electricity.

Other Finnish companies have very different offerings for the Indian market. Much of Finland’s energy comes from burning wood. Typically, handling low calorie, non-homogenous fuels is a challenge — it calls for special expertise in boiler technology.

To India, which has been grappling with the ‘circulating fluidised bed boiler’ (CFBC) technology for some time — Neyveli Lignite Corporation has been struggling to stabilise generation with CFBC boilers of BHEL make — Finnish company, Valmet Energy Solutions, has something on the table.

160-MW plant

Valmet (which has evolved from the better-known Metso) is an expert in boilers flexible enough to handle a wide variety of fuels, such as those with high moisture or ash content. The company intends to expose to Minister Goyal it prowess, particular in the area of boilers than can handle coil washery rejects. “There are huge reserves of this fuel in India, which is not fully utilised,” says Ari Kokko of Valmet, in a paper on the subject.

Visiting Indian journalists were also taken to a huge, 160-MW plant of Vantaa Energy, which operates entirely on wastes generated by Helsinki city. The ‘combined heat and power’ plant — there are quite a number of CHPs in Scandinavia — produces both power and heat. The heat is sold to the residents of the township of Vantaa, 25 km from Helsinki.

The town’s water supply system absorbs the heat from hot water sent from the plant and delivers it to homes. Sales of heat brings in revenue, and helps to keep the cost of electricity down. Waste-to-energy technologies could be of use to India, officials of Vantaa Energy said.

Another global major, ABB, which has large operations in Finland, is eyeing the Indian solar sector for its upmarket ‘1,500 V’ inverters. The 1,500 V inverters — as opposed to the incumbent 1,000V systems — are the incoming range of inverters that help further lower cost of solar power.

Energy company, Fortum, which made its first foray into solar by acquiring a 5 MW plant in India in 2012, plans for a long stay in India and is eager to showcase its expertise.


Source: November 6, 2016, The Hindu Business Line