The eco-innovation landscape in Finland has been remaining quite stable over the last years. Importantly, Finland is still ranked as one of the most innovative countries in the world. Finnish eco-innovation continues to benefit from a well-developed innovation system, open economy, and close collaboration between industry, academia and national research organisations.

Energy efficiency and circular economy have been established as key high-level policy priorities, and related national and regional initiatives are manifold. Both start-ups and established companies generate technologies, products and services in several sectors relevant to eco-innovations and the circular economy. Applications range from a mobile app designed to rescue leftover food from restaurants to pioneering energy management solutions and transformative products based on material recycling.

One of the most important policy developments is the inclusion of circular economy as a priority in the Strategic Programme of the Finnish Government from 2016 onwards. The Finnish Ministry of Employment and the Economy also published the Strategy to Promote Cleantech Business in Finland in 2014, which continues to guide policymaking and business initiatives. Other important strategies and programmes relevant to eco-innovations and the circular economy include the Finnish Bioeconomy Strategy (2014), the Finnish Material Efficiency Programme (2014), and the new Circular Economy focus area (2016) in Sitra, the Finnish Innovation Fund.

The main challenges for eco-innovation in the country are associated with the weak national economy and decreasing public and private research and development  (R&D) spending .

2015 Eco-innovation Scoreboard ranking and eco-innovation index composites for Finland




WaveRoller Techonology

finland_awenergy_resizedAW-Energy developed and patented an ocean or wave energy concept WaveRoller that uses the surge pehnomenon for energy generation. The WaveRoller technology is a single unit panel that is fully submerged and achored to the seabed, and works approximately 0.3-2 km from the shore at depths between 8 to 20 metres. A single panel is rated at 500-1000kW. 

The WaveRoller technology is a result of extensive R&D by AW-Energy company that was established in 2002. The solution is an ocean or wave energy concept WaveRoller that uses the surge pehnomenon for energy generation. The WaveRoller technology is a single unit panel that is fully submerged and achored to the seabed, and works approximately 0.3-2 km from the shore at depths between 8 to 20 metres. A single panel is rated at 500-1000kW.

As the wave roller panel moves and absorbs the energy from ocean waves the hydraulic piston pumps that are attached to the panel pump the hydraulic fluids inside a closed hydraulic circuit. All the hydraulic ciruits are enclosed inside a hermetic structure, and thus they are not exposed to marine environment preventing any leakages into the ocean. The high-pressure fluids are fed into a hydraulic motor that dirves a generator. The electrical output again from the wave energy powerplant is connected to the electric grid through a sub sea cable.

Barriers and Drivers

Barriers: Dependent on the local wave conditions, which affects its adaptability. Potentially high cost particularly when it comes to maintenance of the underwater cables and connecting the units to the (national) grids.

Drivers: Enables wave farms or arrays which does not require vast amount of space e.g. in comparision to traditional power plants or wind energy production. The device has long life-span and is built to last decades.

Economic Performance

The so called wave farms, multiple units utilised in one site can include tens of devices, which can redue the cost of an individual unit in terms of infrastructure. In addition, since each unit is equipped with an on-board electricity generator, the output of a wave farm can be combined through electricity capbles and a substations, and thus large farms have nominal capacity of a utility-scale power plant. All the maintenance can be done on surface minimizing the under-sea operations, and thus reducing the maintenance costs.

Social Performance

Since units are fully submerged it does not disfigure the surrounding seascape, and thus has a low visual impact.

Environmental Impact

WaveRoller does not produce any by-products or harm the seabed and does not cause any harm to the marine flora or  fauna, since it follows the movement of the water and its enclosed desing reduces noise. Furthermore, as a renewable energy source it can reduce CO2 emissions and incerease energy productivity more e ffectively than e.g. wind power.

Further Information   

picture source: AW-Energy ©

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