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Suhonen N.,University of Eastern Finland | Okkonen L.,Karelia University of Applied Sciences
Energy Policy | Year: 2013

Energy Services Companies are widely implemented for improving energy efficiency both in the public sector and industry. The model has also been introduced as a business model for biomass-based heat entrepreneurship. However, the residential sector has been problematic with regard to ESCo adoption and constitutes a minor share of ESCo operations. The barriers, both social and economic, are many. This paper focuses on the application of ESCo as a business model for heat entrepreneurship in Finland. First, we present the ESCo model and a review of the main barriers. Second, we present the modelling with aspects of profitability and risk sharing. Third, we demonstrate the operation in the residential sector by using 26 housing associations as a case study. We simulate the energy investment, profitability of operation, and the sharing of risks between the customer and the ESCo. The results indicate that the ESCo model is challenging in our case area. Low profit levels and the assumed customer's preference for achieving cost savings from the beginning of energy renovation can result in long contract periods tying up the capital. The ESCo model is unattractive in the current business climate, requiring modifications or integration with other maintenance services of housing associations. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Okkonen L.,Karelia University of Applied Sciences | Suhonen N.,University of Eastern Finland
Energy Policy | Year: 2010

This paper presents the business models of small-scale heat energy production in Finland. Firstly, the development of heat entrepreneurship in the country is presented, including the remarkable growth of small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) in the last 15 years. Secondly, the concept of business model (business architecture of product/service flows and earning logics) is modified to the framework of wood heat production. The business model concept, and its sub-concepts, is applied in a brief review of current heat energy businesses in Finland. We arrive at a business model of heat entrepreneurships that are public companies/utilities, public-private partnerships, private companies and cooperatives, Energy Saving Company (ESCO), network model of large enterprise and franchising. Descriptive cases of these models are presented. Finally, the paper concludes with a discussion on the applicability of the business models in different operational environments and geographical contexts. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

Paukkunen S.,University of Eastern Finland | Paukkunen S.,Karelia University of Applied Sciences
Croatian Journal of Forest Engineering | Year: 2014

This article presents the opportunities to use small size round wood as a raw material for wood pellets. Article is aimed to give an insight to results of the study and to initiate discussion related on topical questions among pellet industry: what is the quality of pellets produced of undebarked young thinning wood (pine and pine-birch mixture) or debarked young thinning wood. Other topics of the study are to find out: has felling timing or growing habitat any influence to the chemical composition of pellets. Fuel quality indicates that high quality pellets can be produced of alternative raw materials. Key findings of this study are that there is a big opportunity to use undebarked small diameter pine and undebarked small diameter pine pinebirch mixture as a raw material for wood pellets. According chemical analysis small diameter thinning wood with bark is useful raw material for EN 14961-2 (2011) A1 wood pellets. In Finland traditionally small diameter wood has been used as a raw material for wood chips and for pulp and paper industry. Due to the changes in of pulp and paper industry new production opportunities for using small diameter wood should be found. In the future using small size thinning wood as a raw material for pellets can boost the demand of thinning wood and so help to manage young forests in Finland.

Ruggiero S.,University of Jyvaskyla | Onkila T.,University of Jyvaskyla | Kuittinen V.,Karelia University of Applied Sciences
Energy Research and Social Science | Year: 2014

This study shows how stakeholders influence the development of community renewable energy (CRE) schemes and how they are influenced by their outcome. It relies on information collected during 41 structured interviews with local people involved in CRE initiatives in seven regions of Europe. The interviews were thematically analyzed to identify different types of stakeholder influence. The findings show that stakeholder influence on CRE schemes take place at three distinct levels: macro, intercommunity and intracommunity. In addition, key stakeholders can support or hinder the development of a project according to whether or not they perceive that the output of the project may benefit or harm them. The study contributes to the research on local renewable energy (RE) development by showing how stakeholders take on multiple roles and how their roles may change from process to outcome. Furthermore, the study reveals the importance of two stakeholder groups: intermediary organizations and local champions. These were groups whose positive influence was crucial in the implementation phase and for whom ad hoc policy could be established. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Lehtonen O.,University of Eastern Finland | Okkonen L.,Karelia University of Applied Sciences
Environment, Development and Sustainability | Year: 2013

The regional bioeconomy has a high importance for generating socio-economic impacts, especially in sparsely populated resource peripheries. The benefits include increased employment and income and improved security of supply. In this study, the modified regional input-output model is applied for analysing the socio-economic impacts of Suutela wooden village construction in North Karelia, Finland. The main objective of this article is to provide an illustrative example on the regional input-output modelling, applied to the investigation of the socio-economic impacts of a conventional, decentralised bioeconomy. Based on this Finnish case of a wooden village with bioenergy district heating, we demonstrate both the employment and income potentials of a decentralised bioeconomy. The results indicate good socio-economic potential of local wood construction, resulting in about 250 personnel working years and a total economic impact of 43. 7 million euros on the regional economy. To maintain the sensitivity of the input-output modelling, it is considered more suitable for overall regional impact estimations, rather than pointing out differences between the subsystems. When modified for research purposes, the regional input-output model is well capable to efficiently describe the socio-economic impacts and providing information for local decision-makers to support new projects of a bioeconomy. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

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