Energy and Innovation Awards is the hall of fame of cases!

The first annual Energy & Innovation Awards was a success!

The Jury chose the winner Virta for their case Virta Home electric vehicle home charging service. People’s Choice trophy was handed out to WE Tech & The Switch for their case Permanent magnet shaft generator. Congratulations to the winner and all the fantastic finalists!

The finalists were:

  • BØthOfUs Ab: CO2CO2 Puff Pollution Map
  • Callio Pyhäjärvi: Pumped hydro energy storage in the Pyhäsalmi mine
  • Logset Oy: Hybrid technology in forest machines
  • Solixi: The clean energy system
  • Umeå Energi AB: Business model innovation
  • Virta: Virta Home electric vehicle home charging service
  • WE Tech & The Switch: Permanent magnet shaft generator

Tommi Linnankoski from Virta Ltd. got the trophy from the Chairman of the Jury Niklas Wägar.

The Finalists

BøthOfUs – CO2CO2 Puff pollution map

CO2CO2 Puff is a smart algorithm map, which uses real-time data to calculate pollution on a micro level. By looking at traffic patterns of congestion and flow and comparing these patterns to local air quality and wind forces, the map can both give real-time information and future predictions on pollution levels of an area or even of a single street. Making predictions as accurate as 80-90% (depending on the country), the CO2CO2 Puff map can be used by city planning commissions, transport companies, real estate agencies and residents in designing cleaner cities. Offering its data digitally and in real time, CO2CO2 Puff is accessible to anyone, creating awareness of climate change and supporting sustainable low-carbon environment efforts.

Callio Pyhäjärvi: Pumped hydro energy storage in the Pyhäsalmi mine

The town of Pyhäjärvi plans to integrate a globally unique pumped hydro energy storage plant in the existing infrastructure of the Pyhäsalmi mine. The Pyhäsalmi mine is the deepest base metal mine in Europe and its orebody is expected to be depleted by 2019. With a hydraulic head of 1400 meters and an underground lower storage reservoir, the plant is envisaged to have an energy storage capacity of 530 MWh, allowing for 7 hours of storage based on a 75 MW design. The very high hydraulic head and the integration of the plant into the existing underground mining complex makes the project particularly challenging and requires innovative design, offered by Pöyry Energy. While other domestic hydro power re-sources are fully utilized, the Pyhäsalmi mine plant offers a cost-effective balancing option for the Finnish and Nordic electricity networks. In addition to being a reliable and green balancing solution with practically no impact on the environment, the mine is also to become a center for research, R&D and business.”

Logset Oy: Hybrid technology in forest machines

The Logset 12H GTE Hybrid harvester is the world’s first hybrid forest machine, launched by Logset in 2016. With its hybrid system as an integrated part of the machine’s diesel engine, the Logset 12H GTE Hybrid offers a significant increase in power and torque, while also enabling downsizing of the diesel engine. As a parallel technology, the hybrid system automatically assists the engine when the harvester needs more power than what the engine can provide. Even though the load of the engine and the power needed by the harvester can vary significantly during work cycles, the revs of the engine can be kept at a constant level thanks to the hybrid system. With this technology, the Logset 12H GTE Hybrid harvester has an increased working efficiency of 27 %, which also significantly decreases fuel consumption and emissions per harvested cubic meter, making the machine beneficial both to the environment and its user.

Solixi: The clean energy system


Energy system designer Solixi has created a patented technology that improves the performance of solar energy systems. The technology comprises solutions for solar concentrators and heat storage, together with an intelligent controlling system. Solixi’s solar concentrators orientate rooftop solar collectors towards the sun, enabling an increase of energy production by up 760% in convention al solar collectors. The unique MWh-scale Solixi water boilers, in turn, simultaneously store cold and hot water and give a 300-fold improvement in heat storage capacity (from 50 kWh to 15 MWh) with their increase in boiler volume (up to 150 m3). Both solutions are steered by Solixi’s IoT controller, which closely monitors timing, temperatures, the weather and the price of electricity and integrates heaters, heat pumps, heat recovery and cooling. By combining these elements Solixi has been able to design a cost-effective and productive solution, which gives considerable economic savings and encourages solar energy production.

Umeå Energi AB: Business model innovation

As part of the Horizon 2020 project RUGGEDISED, Swedish utility Umeå Energi AB has created a new sharing economy business model for the energy business. The business model enables property owners and entities, such as Umeå University and the University Hospital of Umeå, to share the surplus energy of their buildings to the district cooling network of Umeå. The recovered energy reduces the need for new energy production and thereby results in a lower climate impact and an improved, more robust energy system. Umeå Energi AB’s innovation replaces traditional linear business models with a relationbased reciprocate co-operation. The new business model aims to use blockchain technology, which enables automatized real-time exchanges with instant validation. As the model is generic it can be applied to any other energy network and context, advocating more efficient use of produced energy.

Virta: Virta Home electric vehicle home charging service

Energy utility-owned Virta has created Virta Home, the only smart electric vehicle charging service for consumers in use today. Virta Home is a globally unique system, which automatically chooses the best time to charge a car by following Nord Pool Spot electricity prices and the energy needs of the car. With Virta Home, private charging stations can be shared with selected users or be made part of the public charging network. Owners gain extra income from sharing their station, while the public charging network expands, lowering the threshold to buy electric vehicles. In addition to showing the location and availability of shared stations, Virta Home also offers automatic billing and charging reports to selected users.
As a tool for energy storage, electric vehicles are a cost-efficient way of dealing with the growing amounts of intermittent renewable energy. With Virta Home consumers are provided with a clear economic incentive to effortlessly take part of this demand response, while encouraging renewable energy production and reducing emissions.

WE Tech & The Switch: Permanent magnet shaft generator

WE Tech, an energy-efficiency solutions provider, and The Switch, a permanent magnet technology supplier, have joined forces to deliver an advanced permanent magnet shaft generator for the maritime industry. Used either as a ship’s generator or a motor, the permanent magnet shaft generator has received a warm welcome in the marine industry that seeks to in-crease sustainability. In comparison to traditional induction machines, the permanent magnet shaft generator is typically 2-4% more efficient at full load and up to 10% more efficient at part loads. This means that ships can run efficiently at varying speeds over their entire operating range, while significantly cutting down on their fuel consumption. The permanent magnet technology also offers longer total life cycles and excellent performance even in the harshest conditions, resisting corrosion and temperature changes. With easy installation and operation, this solution lowers risks and offers safer, greener seafaring and slashed costs in shipping.

The Jury

Mathias Grädler

Innovation Director, Wapice

Mathias Grädler is Innovation Director at Wapice helping companies to innovate and transform into digital champions. Mathias is a renown Internet of Things, Smart Cities and Smart Energy expert, conference speaker and inventor. He holds an executive MBA in Energy Business from Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, and a Bachelor of Engineering in Information Technology from University of Applied Sciences, Vaasa.


Jyrki Hirviniemi

Product Manager, VEO Oy

Jyrki works at VEO as a Product Manager responsible for low voltage switchgears.

He  has over twenty years of experience in the field of low voltage and medium voltage switchgears.


Mikko Pieskä

Energy Expert, Vaasan Sähkö Oy

Mikko works as an energy expert at Vaasan Sähkö, specifically for district heat. Mikko has over 10 year experience from energy use in buildings. In the past Mikko has been working for university, rapidly growing SME in renewable sector and technology center. Mikko is MSc from University of Vaasa.

Niklas Wägar

Director, Technology & Product Management, Wärtsilä

Niklas Wägar is Director of Wärtsilä Energys Solutions’ Engine Power Plant, Technology & Product Management. The entire turn-key power plant solution from engines through auxiliaries to the wires is developed with his team of experts. He is a Global Smart Power Generation Ambassador and has been working with Energy challenges and opportunities since 1995 and was previously responsible for the R&D activities, roadmaps and strategies related to Electrical & Automation concepts.


Krish Sankaran

Founding Director of the Radical Innovations Group.

Sankaran, a Swiss national, has lived and worked in eight countries in three continents. He has visiting professorships in ETH Zurich, Switzerland and the Indian Institute of Technology – IIT Bombay, India. He is the Founder-CEO of a Swiss-based R&D venture named Prajñālaya (in Sanskrit meaning the Temple of Energy). He works in the domain of energy technologies and energy business innovations. Particularly, he has been active in the areas of energy harvesting, conversion, and storage, energy modelling and developing energy and infrastructure public private partnerships.


Anna-Kaisa Valkama

Program Director, Technology Center Merinova

Anna-Kaisa leads development projects and is responsible for the preparation of the comprehensive energy projects. She has an extensive network, both internationally and nationally, and is particularly versed in electrical engineering.