Finland has a long history in developing distribution automation technologies, such as protection relays, distribution management systems and electricity meters. There is also strong expertise in manufacturing more traditional equipment, such as transformers, generators, electric motors and cables. Newer competence has been found especially in power electronic based converters.
Finland has also further competence in FACTS (Flexible AC transmission systems) and related technologies, such as compensation or HVDC (high voltage DC) systems. These technologies are increasingly applied in distribution networks as well, which offers new possibilities for downscaling the concepts. Finnish network operators have also taken their operational processes to a very advanced level. Compared internationally, asset management in Finland is highly effective. This means, for instance, condition monitoring methods, maintenance methods, crew management, etc. Finland has a strong background as a leading country in telecommunications. As smart grids are increasingly utilizing telecom technologies, this competence basis is extremely valuable.
The Finnish energy system is the most advanced in the world. Our electricity grid is extremely stable with minimal losses - the grid reliability is 99,9998% at transmission lines. The major driver for developments in Finland has been improving service reliability of the national electricity system. This has led to high level of energy distribution automation.
Tomorrow’s energy technologies can already be developed and tested in Finland – our electricity system is called Smart Grid 2.0 for a reason. The Finnish electricity system already uses smart grid functionalities. Finland was, for example, one of the first countries in the world to adopt remote meters that register electricity consumption data on an hourly basis. These smart meters are capable of receiving and sending load control commands. Services for the utilization of smart energy data are developed in a practical testing environment in which real-life user experiences play an integral part.
Finnish energy market has been open and interconnected with the Nordic market since 90’s. In many aspects the Finnish market is transparent and offers flexible platform for different operators. The Finnish electricity system is well-operated, maintained and documented, forming and ideal testbed for tomorrow’s smart grid solutions. Otaniemi and Åland island test beds are internationally open for developing solutions to smart grid 2.0. Finnish Smart Grids solutions and testbeds are increasingly benefiting and using the latest developments in digitalization, such are: IoT, 5G and other connectivity solutions, data analytics, artificial intelligence and blockchain.
Finland provides an excellent R&D and testbed environment for Smart Grid technologies. We have a number of competitive advantages supporting this business area: very strong ICT and energy sectors, a highly skilled workforce in several technology subdomains, and last but not least, an electricity system that already uses smart grid functionalities. This makes Finland an excellent location for smart grid related investments.