Energy, Supply Security and Geopolitical Shifts report

A report “Energia, huoltovarmuus ja geopoliittiset siirtymät” (Energy, Supply Security and Geopolitical Shifts) by Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen and Sakari Höysniemi from the research group on Russian environment and others was published. The report is a part of Energy and Supply Security project financed by the Prime Minister’s Office and can be accessed from here.

German radio interview

Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen was interviewed by German radio SWR2 in programme “Finnland und sein Nachbar Russland” (Finland and its neighbour Russia), dedicated to the centennial of Finnish Independence. Professor Tynkkynen spoke on energy issues. Listen to the programme here.

Policy brief

Policy brief “Global energy transitions and Russia’s energy influence in Finland” by Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen, Katri Pynnöniemi and Sakari Höysniemi. Read the full policy brief here.

This study argues that in a condition of a rapid energy transition Russia’s possibility to use energy trade as leverage
diminishes. Therefore, a slow transition to a renewables-dominated world economy is in the interest of Russia.

Energy has always been an essential part of geopolitics. Transitions in energy markets and new technologies can have a significant impact on the geopolitical balance and national security by affecting countries’ energy trade, economy and security of supply. For example, combatting global climate change has already had and will continue to have an impact on the demand for hydrocarbons. Decreasing demand can put financial pressure on countries with economies dependent on the export of hydrocarbons, and this may create political instabilities. Simultaneously, political decisions to financially support energy production from renewable sources, mainly wind, have reduced countries’ dependency on fossil fuel imports and paved the way for a wave of competitive renewable energy sources.

This policy brief is based on the second phase of a three-phase study on the changing geopolitics of energy.

The first phase of the study involved performing a global, market-based analysis and developing three scenarios: base scenario, rapid development and slow development until 2040. The second phase of the study assesses the impacts of these strategic shifts from the point of view of Russia’s energy and security policies. Moreover, the policy brief analyses how
Russia is using control of its energy resources and flows of traded energy commodities to exert political leverage in conflict situations. Knowledge of leverage and dependencies in energy trade makes it possible to carry out the third analytical phase, i.e. to propose measures that simultaneously promote the energy transition and energy security in Finland.


Panel discussion on Arctic cooperation

Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen took part in a panel discussion “Ark­t­inen yhteistyö – mitä Suomi siitä hyötyy?” (Arctic cooperation – what Finland benefits from it?) at Tiedekulma.

The Arctic Council is an eight-country forum aimed at promoting sustainable development and environmental protection in the Arctic. Finland takes up the presidency of the Council in 2017-2019. But what does it benefit from Arctic cooperation – or does it benefit at all?

Watch the full discussion here.


Leadership for Change lecture

On 23rd of November 2017 Lauri Veijalainen, the Group CEO at Stockmann, gave a lecture at the Tampere University. In recent years, the Stockmann Group has faced challenges due to changes in the operating environment and customer behavior. At his LFC lecture, Mr Veijalainen shared his views on leading such complex change processes. The main focus of the lecture were the complexities related to doing business in Russia. Professor Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen gave comments after the presentation by Mr. Veijalainen.

Pictures from  @ALonnq Twitter account.

Annual Artic PIRE meeting

Annual Artic PIRE project meeting was organised on 6-7 of November at the University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, USA.

From our group Stephanie Hitztaler attended and gave a presentation on Fossil Fuels and Sustainability – conceptual framework that she and Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen are working on.

The meeting programme is available here.

Ykkösaamu interview

Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen participated in Yle Radio programme Ykkösaamu, where he discussed the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project and its implications on EU-Russia relations. Listen to the full programme on this page.

Aleksanteri Conference 2017

17th Annual Aleksanteri Conference was organised in Helsinki on 25-27th of October by the Aleksanteri Institute, our team has taken part in several panels.

First, Daria Gritsenko and Jussi Huotari chaired the panel “Sustainable Development in the Russian Arctic: A Policy Perspective”, where Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen was the discussant. Hilma Salonen presented a paper “Strategic Energy Planning and Local Realities: Gaps and Contradictions“, and Jussi Huotari had a presentation titled “Nexus of Environmental Responsibility and Economic Development in the Corporate Strategies”.

The panel’s description on the conference website:

This panel will unite contributions that look at sustainable development (SD) in Russia through the analysis of policy interventions. Scholars have demonstrated that while sustainable development has been on the Russian policy agenda for a long time, the effective policy integration into the economic system was missing due to policy-practice gap. Recently, the rhetoric and practice of strategic planning in Russia has been consolidating, resulting in a proliferation of  interlocking planning documents at all levels: from high-level strategies to detailed local programs. In this panel, we will ponder the relationship between the strategic planning and sustainable development in Russian Arctic. In particular, we will raise the following questions: How does the strong commitment to strategic planning contribute to better integration of sustainability objectives in various policy fields? How do various actors at different scales (federal, regional, local) implement strategies that account for the environment, the economy, and society?  What is the role of companies, both public and private, in advancing sustainability policies in Russia? How do they ‘fit’ into SD strategies? The panel has five contributions shedding light upon the above-mentioned questions. Prof. Alexander Sergunin examines the role of the UN in encouraging academic discussions on the construction of an Arctic City Sustainable Development Index (ACSDI). His paper traces how the theoretical and methodological approaches developed in the influencial UN documents results in an academic indicator system with regard to the northern municipalities of the eight Arctic countries. Hilma Salonen focuses on the gap between local realities of peripheral Northern regions and the futures envisioned in Moscow in the field of renewable energy, especially the use of local biomass resources in heating. Her analysis of the official energy development strategies complemented with interviews with Finnish and Russian experts demonstrate how the lack of institutional, financial and technical intermediaries and reforms may turn a strategic plan into hollow promises. Alexandra Kuklina analyzes the role of the Russian Far East in constructing environmental cooperation of Asian countries in the Arctic region, with a special emphasis on joint Russian-Japanese research projects and technology transfer through building professional expert groups. Andrian Vlakhov investigates approaches to sustainability among Russian extractive companies operating in the Arctic. Based on extensive fieldwork in Svalbard, Murmansk Oblast and Republic of Karelia, he argues that the practices developed by extractive companies operating along this border are in fact a sustainable strategy of these companies. Jussi Huotari examines environmental responsibility as a part of the corporate social responsibility (CSR) in the Russian energy companies operating in oil and gas sector, in particular, how the controversies between economic development and environmental effects are presented in reports of the both parastatial companies and private corporations operating in the Russian Arctic, in particular in the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Okrug.

Additionally, Professor Tynkkynen also chaired the panel “The Future of Russia’s North”, where Dr. Gritsenko was the discussant.

Wind Finland 2017

On 26th of October in Haltia, Nuuksio, took place Wind Finland seminar. Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen was one of the speakers and talked about the future of Finnish-Russian energy relations.

The seminar’s topics were:

– The Future of Wind Power in Europe
– Future of Russian and Finnish energy relations
– Demand response with large scale intermittent production
– Internet of Energy
– What to take into account in Finnish Auctions and Renewables´
Auction systems

Sustainability of Arctic towns and the challenges of learning

A new book “Oppimisen tulevaisuus” (The future of learning) with a chapter “Arktisten kaupunkien kestävyys ja oppimisen haasteet” (Sustainability of Arctic towns and the challenges of learning), co-written by Stephanie Hitztaler and Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen, was published this month by Gaudeamus.

“Oppimisen tulevaisuus” is edited by Hannu Savolainen, Risto Vilkko & Leena Vähäkylä, more information about is is available here.