A geothermal energy treasure awaits in Central Finland

The two million-year-old granite rock produces modern, renewable energy. In Central Finland it is particularly abundant, because the majority of the region’s area belongs to the best class in terms of geothermal energy.

The Regional Council of Central Finland commissioned an investigation related to its climate strategy from GTK. The survey revealed that the soil layer in most of the region is less than 20 metres thick, which is optimal. In addition, the granitoid rock in the region conducts heat better than other rock types. Planning director Olli Ristaniemi from the regional council (in the photo) says that the surveys also hint that there might also be special “super areas” of geothermal energy in Central Finland.

“More drilling would have been required to confirm this. Although we are interested in this, I am satisfied that GTK’s team led by Asmo Huusko did not make promises of things that did not exist,” Ristaniemi explains.

An option for new neighbourhoods

According to Central Finland’s plan, 60 per cent of energy use will come from renewable sources by the year 2020. This goal is supported by, for example, land use planning.

“We are currently reviewing a regional plan which will contain a planning order that according to which the possibility of using geothermal energy must be checked when planning residential or industrial areas,” Ristaniemi says.

According to him, as much as 10 per cent of Central Finland’s energy needs could be covered by using geo-energy. Municipalities have already shown interest towards geo-energy. Äänekoski, for example, is considering geothermal energy as an option for heating houses in a new residential area that will be built on the shore of Lake Keitele.

Ristaniemi, who has a degree in geology, says that geothermal energy is an excellent example of cleantech. Bedrock heat can be collected from the depth of hundreds of metres in an affordable and environmentally friendly way.