Hydrocarbon culture in the making – Energy, culture & identity in Russia

Today Professor Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen is giving a talk ” Hydrocarbon culture in the making  Energy, culture & identity in Russia” at the faculty’s seminar: Impact of the Humanities on Science and Society at University of Helsinki, Language Centre, room 115,  14:00-14:20.
The seminar is part of the Scientific Advisory Board visit to the Faculty. The theme of the seminar gathers together approaches such as reaching out of the academia, engaging with natural and technical sciences as well as other sciences, mutual impacts on one another, and so on. The seminar is open to the whole Faculty.

Professor Tynkkynen interviewed for the new article published in Kaleva

Professor Tynkkynen was interviewed for the new article “Kaleva-gallup: Enemmistö pitää Fennovoiman ve­nä­läi­so­mis­tus­ta tur­val­li­suusuh­ka­na – Tutkija: “Määrä on suuri, jopa huomattava” (Kaleva-Gallup: The majority considers Fennovoima’s Russian ownership as a security threat – Scientist: “The amount is large, even remarkable”) published in Kaleva newspaper this Monday, 6th of May.

The article shares results of the recent Kaleva Gallup, according to which 62 per cent of respondents living in Northern Finland believe that the Russians’ share in Finnish Fennovoima nuclear power plant project is a certain security threat. Professor Tynkkynen commented on the results of the poll and the meaning of Fennovoima project and nuclear power for Finland. Read his opinion on the issue in the full version of the article.

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.

Workshop on Climate Change in the Soviet Union and Russia organised in Moscow

On 25-26th of April “Climate Change in the Soviet Union and Russia: Approaches and Debates in Science, Society, and Politics, 1960s-2010s” workshop is organised in Moscow by the German Historical Institute Moscow. Professor Veli-Pekka Tynkkynen is taking part in it, presenting his and Dmitry Yagodin’s paper “Regionalization of climate policies in Russia – local reality meets the national climate-denial narrative”.

Despite the Soviet Union’s role as a Super Power during the Cold War period and Russia ́s size
and geopolitical importance today, still relatively little is known about how the country’s
government, scientists and people have dealt with and responded to natural/anthropogenic
climate change. This interdisciplinary workshop thus aims to understand how attitudes towards
climate change in the Soviet Union/Russia have evolved over time and simultaneously been
shaped by various actors.

More information is available online.

Science Media International Forum

Tomorrow our postdoctoral researcher Dmitry Yagodin will be taking part in a round table discussion “Арктика в фокусе медиа” (Arctic in the media focus) at St. Petersburg State University, Russia. Event is a part of Science Media International Forum “Media in Today’s World. St. Petersburg readings”.

At the round table the questions of “Arctic as a sphere of interest of many states: cooperation and conflicts” and “Representation of the topic of Arctic territories exploration” in the world mass media” will be discussed. More information about the round table can be found here.

Jussi Huotari moved to a new position as project manager at the “Barents Region Transportation and Logistics, BRTL” project

A member of our research group, PhD candidate Jussi Huotari was selected as project manager to Kolarctic CBC funded “Barents Region Transportation and Logistics, BRTL” project. The BRTL project focuses on producing and analysing timely information on the development of transportation corridors and logistical solutions from the regional perspective. It ponders around questions such as what is regional preparedness to adapt state-level climate targets and development of intelligent transport systems (ITS).

Source: Kainuun liitto

This is challenging but yet highly interesting project” says Huotari, “since we have 13 partner organizations from all four Barents region countries involved in the project, interests are multiple and diversified. On the other hand, the BRTL is a good test for Barents cooperation, particularly now when several states have announced ambitious climate policy goals, but the capacity and willingness to implement national climate targets in the regions varies a lot. As a project manager my goal is also to increase cooperation and dialogue between academia and public policy institutions since there is a strong demand for information in the regions. I also believe that fostering this kind of dialogue would benefit both regional authorities and universities. The project brings added value to my own research as it brings me closer to political processes at the practical level.

More information about the BRTL project.

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.