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Nordic emissions are falling

Some welcome good news for the residents of Delhi, which suffered its hottest day ever of over 50°C last week, with GHG emissions falling in the Nordics, led by Finland, with an 11% drop, but also down significantly in Norway and to a lesser extent in Sweden. Perhaps Indians won't see so much immediate benefit from Nordic reductions that are relatively small in the scale of things, but it does demonstrate that progress is being made. A more immediate benefit has already accrued to Europeans, whose lifespans are increasing as the air pollution from vehicles and coal plants falls away.


Feature stories

Climate tech Cloover raises $114 mln in seed funding

Climate tech startup Cloover, based in Berlin, but led by the Swedish founder Peder Broms, has secured $114 million in debt and equity through a seed funding round led by Lowercarbon Capital. The funding aims to enhance Cloover's software, which supports smaller renewable energy installers by integrating various parts of the value chain. This enables installers to provide comprehensive packages, including solar panels, energy storage, heat pumps, and financing, while demonstrating potential bill reductions and green energy credits to customers.

 

The investment will facilitate Cloover's expansion beyond Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, and the Netherlands into markets like Spain, France, and Britain. Other investors include 9900 Capital and QED. The funds will also support more installations, technological improvements, network distribution expansion, and team growth. Cloover's approach helps smaller installers offer financing options typically unavailable through traditional banks, benefiting a wider range of clients by considering energy savings in its financial assessments.

 

Deep Wind Offshore applies to build a wind farm outside Stockholm

Norwegian company Deep Wind Offshore has applied to build a large floating wind farm 74 kilometres east of Nynäshamn. "The distances to land are so great that the park will not be visible from the Swedish mainland," said Deep Wind Offshore’s CEO, Knut Vassbotn. The planned production for the entire project amounts to 19.5 TWh per year (more than 10% of current Swedish demand). This is the first application to the Government for offshore wind power outside of Stockholm, according to the Norwegian energy company, which estimates investments of "tens of billions of SEK" if the project gets the green light. At the same time, the list of total applications for offshore wind power projects submitted to the Government has now grown to 18. 

Perverse effect as Finland burns more timber

Despite a reduction in overall wood cutting, an increasing proportion of felled trunks in Finland are being burned for electricity and heat, rather than being used for higher-value products. According to Perttu Kauppinen, there has been a 3% decrease in wood cutting, with lumber being burned for energy rising by 5%. This shift is driven by the reduction in peat burning, the energy crisis following Russia's war in Ukraine, and the inability to import Russian wood chips.

 

In Lapland this practice has been controversial. Local energy companies have been cutting down old-growth forests, with Greenpeace reporting that about 77 hectares are being felled, and up to 90 percent of this wood is being burned. This includes trees up to 300 years old, impacting both the environment and the Sámi people's reindeer husbandry. Major wood market players avoid purchasing from these forests due to their high natural value.

 

The increased reliance on burning wood highlights flaws in Finland's energy system. Wood, a valuable raw material, should be used for manufacturing valuable products, with energy production being the last resort for non-recyclable wood materials. The Finnish Government, led by Prime Minister Petteri Orpo, has promised to protect old natural forests, though internal disagreements remain about which forests are protected.



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