Mistä ruoka pöytään ja energia piuhaan? YHYS Politiikkadialogi 2020

Today our Doctoral candidate Sakari Höysniemi participated in the event titled “Mistä ruoka pöytään ja energia piuhaan? YHYS Politiikkadialogi 2020” (Where do the food on the table and energy in cords come from? YHYS Policy dialogue 2020) on the 25th of May. The event was organised by the Forum for Environmental Information and was held online. Sakari participated in the second discussion of the event, where the participants talked about their perspectives on energy security and sustainable models of local economies.

More information on the event can be found from Ympäristötiedon foorumi.

Winland Policy Brief VIII

Winland consortium published Policy Brief VIII, written by Sanna Syri, Jaakko Jääskeläinen, Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen, and Sakari Höysniemi. In the brief titled “Turvallisuus on enemmän kuin huoltovarmuutta – Kohti kokonaisvaltaisempaa energiaturvallisuuden kehittämistä ja arviointia” (Security is more than security of supply – Towards more comprehensive development and evaluation of energy security).

Energian tuotantoa, hankintaa ja kulutusta ei voi kytkeä irti aajemmasta yhteiskuntapolitiikasta ja turvallisuuskäsityksestä. Energiaan liittyvät muutospaineet kytkeytyvät laajempiin yhteiskunnallisiin tulevaisuuskuviin: Mitkä kauppakumppanit
ovat luotettavia? Mikä on kohtuullinen hintataso? Millaisten energiamuotojen käyttöä pidetään hyväksyttävänä? Mikä on riittävä omavaraisuuden aste?

Full brief is available online.

Sakari Höysniemi on Winland’s ending seminar

The ending seminar of From Failand to Winland project was held on Wednesday in Finlandia hall in a conference room full of crowd. Project’s participants from our group, doctoral candidate Sakari Höysniemi and Professor Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen attended the seminar, professor Tynkkynen also took part in the peaker at the “Tutkimuksen yhteiskehittäminen ja tutkimuksella vaikuttaminen” (Collaborative research and research influencing) panel. Sakari Höysniemi shares his experience of working in the Winland project and attending its final seminar.

The project has explored during the last two and a half years Finland’s future food, water, and energy security. The work was governed by Water and Development research group from Aalto University’s School of Engineering under energetic, supportive and multidisciplinary leadership of Marko Keskinen and Suvi Sojamo. I reckon the project would not have been as successful as it was without the multidisciplinary experience of the two that also influenced other consortium partners to cooperate not only in workshops and seminars, but also in actual research. I haven’t seen too many projects where environmental engineer and pedagogic researcher or political scientist, geographer and energy engineer would write an article together.

The work was divided into seven different subprojects of which my work was dedicated mostly to Energy policy subproject under the head of Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen, where we looked at how energy security is being envisioned both in Finland and in Russia and what kind vulnerabilities, interdependencies or risks may emerge but also what possibilities and opportunities there are to improve our current situation.

One of our key results thus far is that although around 63 percent of Finland’s energy exports come from Russia (oil, natural gas, coal, uranium and biomass) such dependence does not bring an acute energy security threat if we understand energy security in techno-economic terms as security of energy supply in exceptional situations. In such situation any of the mentioned energy form could be purchased elsewhere. However, according to social scientific research on energy it is a lifeblood of our societies and it influences societal development in any temporal context. In ordinary situation Finland or Finnish companies would not stop purchasing energy from Russia, as their production or supply chain is optimised for Russian energy, that is it would be more expensive to shift permanently to another supplier. The latter understanding gets often neglected in Finnish public debate. It is, however, relevant to take this perspective into account in the anticipation of needed sustainability transition, as incumbent regime actors are likely to resist change.

Furthermore, Finland’s internal energy security arrangements are likely to be reassembled. For instance, wind power has become the cheapest form of electricity, and its perception has transformed from threat to electricity system to enabler of increased self-sufficiency that still needs mechanisms to accommodate its volatility. This also likely to change actor landscape to include more and smaller scale actors that can make governance of security of energy supply more complex.

Although we already had the final seminar our work is still continuing until the end of this year. Also, a master’s student, Lauri Lähteenmäki will contribute to the subproject as he currently work on master’s thesis on Yamal LNG project that will as a case study improve our understanding of the relationship between energy security and energy transition in the context liquified natural gas.

More information on the seminar can be found on Winland’s website and blog entry.

Ilmastonmuutos selviytymiskysymyksenä

Today Professor Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen will be one of the debaters at the discussion forum  “Ilmastonmuutos selviytymiskysymyksenä” (climate change as a question of survival). The event is a part of talk series “Science meets elections”, organised before legislative elections 2019 in Finland. The forum will try to answer these questions:

  • Miten murros kohti hiilineutraaliutta voidaan saavuttaa? (How can change towards carbon neutrality be achieved?)
  • Miten Suomi varautuu kohtaamaan ilmastonmuutoksen aiheuttamia äkillisiä muutoksia taloudessa ja turvallisuudessa? (How does Finland prepare to face the sudden changes in the economy and security caused by climate change?

The event starts at 15 at Tiedekulma (Yliopistonkatu 3) and is open for everyone.

Recording of the discussion forum is available online.

More information

STN:n luonnonvaraseminaari

Strategic Research Council‘s seminar on natural resources is taking place today in Helsinki, and Sakari Höysniemi from the Winland project is taking part in it. The seminar’s title is “Veden, ruoan ja energian globaali kysyntä ja sen merkitys Suomelle” (Global demand for water, food and energy and its importance for Finland).

The presentation made by Winland for the seminar can be downloaded here.

Two new members in our team

Our research group is getting bigger than ever – we are glad to introduce you two new researchers who are starting to work in our group today. Please, meet doctoral student Francesco Durante and master student Lauri Lähteenmäki. Francesco has joined the AUCAM project, and Lauri will write his MA thesis for the Winland project.

Francesco Durante
Lauri Lähteenmäki


Get to know Francesco and Lauri
Continue reading “Two new members in our team”

Sakari Höysniemi’s new blog post for Winland

Sakari Höysniemi wrote a new blog post “Onko Suomen ja Venäjän välinen energiakauppa uhka vai mahdollisuus?” (Is energy trade between Finland and Russia a threat or an opportunity?) for Winland project.

The report, released this week by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) highlighted the urgent need to reduce emissions and the need to spread climate policy to all social decision-making. Few countries, however, are doing this now. Sakari Höysniemi from Winland project looks at the recent research article on how the reduction of emissions affects trade and relationships between energy producers and consumers.

Read Sakari’s full post for the Winland blog online here.

New article “Finland’s Dependence on Russian Energy—Mutually Beneficial Trade Relations or an Energy Security Threat?”

New article “Finland’s Dependence on Russian Energy—Mutually Beneficial Trade Relations or an Energy Security Threat?” written by Jaakko J. Jääskeläinen, Sakari Höysniemi, Sanna Syri and Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen has been published today at Sustainability. The article is a part of the Winland‘s special issue “Enhancing Security, Sustainability and Resilience in Energy, Food and Water”.

Studies on energy security in the context of relations between European Union (EU) and Russia tend to focus on cases, with an open conflict related to supply, such as “hard” energy weapons, or on only one fuel, often natural gas. However, there is a need to understand the long-term impacts that energy relations have politically, economically and physically, and their linkages between resilience, sustainability and security. We analyse the Finnish-Russian energy relations as a case study, as they are characterised by a non-conflictual relationship. To assess this complex relationship, we apply the interdependence framework to analyse both the energy systems and energy strategies of Finland and Russia, and the energy security issues related to the notable import dependence on one supplier. Moreover, we analyse the plausible development of the energy trade between the countries in three different energy policy scenarios until 2040. The findings of the article shed light on how the trends in energy markets, climate change mitigation and broader societal and political trends could influence Russia’s energy trade relations with countries, such as Finland. Our analysis shows that Finland’s dependence on primary energy imports does not pose an acute energy security threat in terms of sheer supply, and the dependence is unlikely to worsen in the future. However, due to the difficulty in anticipating societal, political, and economic trends, there are possible developments that could affect Finland.

Winland project

Academy of Finland website published a new article about Winland titled “Energia, ruoka ja vesi Suomen turvallisuuden perustekijöitä” (Energy, food and water – basic elements of Finnish security). The article describes the activities of Winland researchers and mentions Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen’s part of the research project:

 The role of Russia is also highlighted, particularly in the part of the research project led by Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen. The research seeks  for an answer to the question of what kind of causal relations energy creates in between Finland and Russia and reminds how critical the energy sector is for both security and sustainability. Traditionally, Russia sells oil, natural gas and uranium, but now Russians also construct a nuclear power plant.

The full version of the article is available on the Academy website. Similar article was also published in Tekniikka&Talous on 22 of August.

Winland policy brief

Winland released a new policy brief titled “Riskienhallinta, kestävyys ja vastuullisuus –  Yritysten arvoketjut energia-, ruoka- ja vesiturvallisuuden ytimessä” (Risk management, sustainability and accountability – Firm’s value chains in regard to energy, food and water security) – a set of recommendations for Finnish companies to achieve better sustainability in their entrepreneurial activity.

What do global crises of energy, food and water mean to Finnish companies? Our latest policy brief for companies was released in the morning seminar on June 14th.
Firm’s value chains are the most important structures for energy, food and water production and consumption. Risk management, sustainability and accountability of value chains should be seen as an inseparable part of each other and a prerequisite for continuity management.

Read the brief here (in Finnish).