MP Talk: Vaasa – The Nordic Energy Capital

MP Talk gives members of parliament the opportunity to share their views on Finnish society with an international audience. The opinions expressed in this column are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the view of the Helsinki Times.
Joakim Strand, Member of Parliament for the Swedish People’s Party.

The City of Vaasa is a successful seaport that is well known for its unique archipelago – the first UNESCO World Heritage Site in Finland - writes helsinkitimes.fi.

The region has always been open to new ideas and people, and Vaasa alone has inhabitants representing over 120 nationalities. There is a strong tradition of active entrepreneurship and good employment levels. Around 80% of the industrial production in the region of Ostrobothnia is exported.

There are 13,000 students in six different units of higher education in Vaasa, and education is available in Finnish, Swedish and English. The strong cooperation between the institutions of higher education and the companies guarantees good employment possibilities for students and offers competent manpower for companies in the future.

The Vaasa region represents the biggest energy cluster in the Nordic countries: we employ 12,000 persons and are responsible for more than 30% of total exports within the energy technology industry in Finland. This is despite the fact that only 2% of the country's inhabitants live in the Vaasa region. In total, there are over 140 companies in the regional energy cluster, with the biggest being ABB and Wärtsilä. Their combined turnover is around €5 billion.

The private sector of the energy cluster invests about €200 million per year on research and product development. The Finnish government has given Vaasa the task to lead the development of sustainable energy solutions for the whole country. We develop platforms for solutions that work anywhere in the world.

The City of Vaasa has committed itself to several international, national and regional projects and agreements aimed at reducing the strain on the environment and increasing energy efficiency. Our Energy Education Strategy brings energy and sustainable development into the curriculum and aims to increase energy consciousness, interest and passion among different age groups. The new research and innovation centre, Vaasa Energy Business Innovation Centre (VEBIC), also supports the development of the energy business field in Vaasa.

Another project, Midway Alignment of the Bothnian Corridor, includes building a new innovative ferry for the traffic over Kvarken in the Gulf of Bothnia. The harbour of Vaasa is already an important part of the Nordic Logistics route, which reaches all the way from the Norwegian harbours to the European and Russian transport routes.

Vaasa has also decided to apply for the next Tesla factory, Gigafactory, which produces lithium-ion batteries. The advantage of Vaasa as a location is that it is the most important energy technology centre in the Nordic countries. Kaustinen, which lies nearby, has the biggest lithium deposits in Europe. This combination of energy technology knowledge and supply of raw materials for battery production is globally unique. The energy cluster in Vaasa and Tesla has a common target: to speed up the world's transition to sustainable energy.

Joakim Strand represents the Swedish People's Party in the Parliament of Finland, where he is also a member of the Commerce Committee. He is chairman of the City Council in Vaasa and chairman of the Board of the Regional Council of Ostrobothnia. Previously working in the banking and IT sectors, Strand has a Master of Law degree as well as a Master of Science in Economics and Business Administration, while he has also played football in Division 1, representing Vasa IFK. Strand is Chairman of the Board of Vaasan Sähkö, as well as being a member of the EPV Energy, Kvarken Ports, Kvarken Council and VAMK boards.

Read more news on our site.

helsinkitimes
Finnishsociety CityofVaasa
If you notice an error, highlight the text you want and press Ctrl + Enter to report it to the editor
I recommend
No recommendations yet

Comments

Post your comment to communicate and discuss this article.

Society
The coach of a sports club in Hyvinkää, southern Finland has been remanded into police custody on suspicion of sexual abuse of minors he was coaching, the Itä-Uusimaa police department said on Thursday. Officials said that they are investigating the case as suspected child abuse but did not disclose the ages of the alleged victims. The suspect in the case, a 50-year-old man, was remanded into custody on Wednesday. The suspected sexual abuse is believed to...
Society
Finns increasingly forego do-it-yourself construction of prefab elements in favour of completely completed homes. Turnkey homes (where homes are fully finished and owners can immediately occupy them) have become more popular than traditional house packages, says the Finnish Association for Manufacturers of Prefabricated Houses. “About 7,500 detached homes are built in Finland every year, and about 70 percent of them are prefabricated houses of some kind,”...
Society
THE FESTIVE ATMOSPHERE in the Helsinki neighbourhood of Arabianranta was visibly subdued on Tuesday, as residents mourned the death of a local child who is believed to have been murdered. While little information has been released to the public, it is known that the victim was murdered near their home on the night of Christmas Eve (December 24). The police apprehended a suspect at the scene of the crime, who has been confirmed as a 36-year old male. Whethe...
Society
One of Finland’s most famous seafaring vessels, the titanic icebreaker Otso, was deployed on its first mission of the winter season last night, keeping sea routes open for the 22nd year in a row. Late in the evening of Christmas Day, Otso, the crowning glory of Arctia Oy’s extensive fleet, departed from Helsinki’s Katajanokka Harbour, heading north to the Bay of Bothnia. The 7000-ton Polar icebreaker has been tasked with keeping waterways open between Oulu...
Society
Eight Finnish political parties have published their a statement on future climate policy goals in Finland. Prime Minister Juha Sipilä (Centre) in November invited all nine parliamentary parties to join a task force established to find an agreement on new, more ambitious climate goals for Finland. The one-month project was led by Kimmo Tiilikainen (Centre), the Minister of the Environment, Energy and Housing. The Finns Party abandoned the task force last w...
Society
A 25-year-old man suspected of the sexual abuse of a girl under the age of 15 in Oulu, northwestern Finland, who was arrested in Germany last Tuesday is now reported to be at large. According to law enforcement officials in Oulu, the suspect was released by German police before he could be transferred to Finnish custody due to "a breakdown in communication between authorities". Oulu District Court ordered the suspect to be reprimanded into custody in absen...
Society
Finland’s high earners saw their real income grow more in 2017 than their peers in middle and low income groups, according to new data released by Statistics Finland on Tuesday. Incomes among the country’s highest income decile rose by 4.4 percent in 2017 compared to 2016, while the year-on-year increase was 1.3 percent for middle income earners. Incomes for the four lowest income deciles meanwhile grew by 1.2 percent over the one-year period. However amon...
Society
A man wanted in connection with a suspected arson attempt on a home in Helsinki’s Käpylä district was remanded into police custody on Sunday. The Helsinki district court has remanded a man suspected of attempted arson and attempted murder into police custody, ending a short-lived manhunt, police said on Sunday. The 25 year-old is suspected of using a Molotov cocktail to cause a fire at a flat in Käpylä, Helsinki last Monday. The apartment was completely de...
Society
Helsinki Central Library Oodi will opened its doors to the public on 5 December at 8am, a day before Finland’s 101st birthday. Designed by ALA Architects, this library of a new era is an ode to Finnish culture, equality and freedom of expression. Oodi offers everyone an open, public urban space at Kansalaistori Square, right opposite Parliament House. Central Library Oodi is an active and functional meeting point with 2.5 million expected annual visitors....