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Buying heat from 'entrepreneurs'

Resources:
Energy
Sector:
All manufacturing industries
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Premises and operation areas:
Office building, Production building
Size of company:
Micro (less than 10), Small (less than 50), Medium (less than 250)
Advancement in applying resource efficiency measures:
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
What is in it for you:
Focuses a company on its core business. No need to worry about heat production. Buying heat produced from wood or other biofuels reduces carbon footprint.
Descriptive information:

All companies are facing the pressure of rising energy costs and a shortage of resources and time. If a company is situated outside a city centre (e.g. in industry zone), buying heat form a so-called heat entrepreneur may well be a good option.

Heat entrepreneurship is the production of local renewable energy, where an entrepreneur or company sells heat at an agreed price to a user. Heat is conveyed to the customer from the heating plant by a short pipeline to one user or a larger heating network including multiple buildings. Typically, the fuel is from the entrepreneur’s own forest or locally procured sources, but it can also be wood byproducts or wood for recycling.

Heat production from wood and other biofuels increases local employment and reduces the use of fossil fuels. It is also an economical and environmentally friendly method to produce heat.

In Finland, heat entrepreneurship started operations in the 1990s from small oil heating facilities, which were modified to wood chips. Initially, heat entrepreneurship was a secondary occupation, but it has become the main occupation for many entrepreneurs. Currently, in Finland, there are hundreds of small-scale heat plants run by such heat entrepreneurs.

The average capacity of a heating plant is almost 1 MW. Nowadays, heat entrepreneurs also provide steam for industrial processes.

Key benefits:

  • Reduces the company's carbon footprint, if replacing heat generation based on oil, for example
  • Frees up time and resources for core activities
  • Increases local employment
  • Improves corporate image; wood-based heat entrepreneurship is both economical and environmentally friendly
  • Price of bioenergy is less volatile than oil prices
  • Maintenance and fuel procurement are outsourced

 

 

Sources

The Bioenergy Association of Finland, http://www.bioenergia.fi/English

Research on the topic by TTS Institute, http://www.tts.fi/in-english/tts/general-info

 

Further Information

National contact point for heat entrepreneurship The Bionenergy association of Finland

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