Thursday, February 18, 2016

Sunshine in the Finnish forest industry: Biomass projects and Finland's bioeconomy enjoying a resurgence

A Maaseudun Tulevaisuus (a Finnish newspaper covering agriculture and forestry) editorial discusses the positive outlook of the forest and bio industries in Finland. There are several projects already carried out or planned in the sector. The most recent investment decision was made by a Chinese company on a biorefinery in Kemi. The paper finds that there is no reason to worry over the sufficiency of wood in Finland despite the great number of projects. The Chinese project is very positive news for the country. However, the project is still far from implementation. One severe risk is related to the EU's biomass sustainability criteria directive. If the EU decided that biomass has sustainability problems, the foundation of Finland's bioeconomy strategy could be undermined. Finns must make sure this does not happen.

Source: Maaseudun Tulevaisuus (E-edition, PDF) - article summary above translated from Finnish 
Date: 12.2.2016

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

SaskPower releases "Renewables Roadmap" - Here are the 5 critical take-aways:

  1. 100 to 200 MW RFQ and RFP for Wind to be issued in Q3 of 2016;
  2. 10 MW RFQ and RFP for solar to be issued in Q3-4 of 2016;
  3. SaskPower committed to soliciting projects from independent power producers;
  4. SaskPower continuing to look at hydro projects, hydro imports from other provinces, as well as biomass and geothermal power projects;
  5. Follow this blog or for updates in the future. 

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

CanWEA unexpectedly pulls out of British Columbia to pursue better opportunities in Saskatchewan and Alberta

Jean-Francois Nolet, vice-president of the Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA), made the announcement in a letter to members of the association's B.C. caucus Feb. 5, and obtained by the Alaska Highway News (newspaper in North-Eastern BC - centre of wind farm development in the Province). “In the last few months we have seen significant new commitments to renewable energy in Alberta and Saskatchewan, but much work remains to be done to make those commitments a reality,” Nolet wrote. “At the same time, despite the hard work and efforts of CanWEA and other stakeholders over many years in British Columbia, we have not yet secured any significant new opportunities for wind energy in the province and both the B.C. Government and BC Hydro have indicated that they do not expect to proceed with a new call for power within the next decade.” In response, CanWEA determined it must shift its focus from B.C. to emerging markets in Alberta and Saskatchewan. With the announcment comes the closure of CanWEA's B.C. office. Regional director Ian Baille will be leaving the organization.

Source and full article at:

Friday, February 12, 2016

SaskPower to develop wind, solar and geothermal power to meet up to 50% renewable target by 2030 in Saskatchewan

To meet the target of up to 50% of SaskPower’s generation capacity from renewable sources, the corporation will be moving forward with procurement of another 100 MW of wind generation in 2016 and will develop up to 1,600 MW of new wind generation between 2019 and 2030.

SaskPower is planning to move forward with utility scale solar power generation, which would include at least 60 MW of solar, with a competitive procurement beginning in 2016.

See SaskPower Press Release for more information:

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Caruna's electricity fee hikes could launch Finland's first class action lawsuit

The electricity distribution company Caruna has announced major hikes to electricity transfer fees and Finland's consumer authorities are now seriously contemplating a class action lawsuit against Caruna if they cannot agree on a solution in negotiations with the company. Both consumers and politicians have been annoyed by the hikes, which can be up to 50%, and they have contacted consumer authorities. Caruna justifies the move by investments in the electricity network, and because of the monopoly position, customers cannot change the service provider.

Source: YLE Uutiset (translated from Finnish)
Date: 8.2.2016
Journalist: Sanna Vilkman

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Is Finland's Neste the World's First 21st Century Oil Company?

In an era of hyper-branding, normally whenever a corporation changes its name and logo — altering the image countless commercials have indelibly burned into consumer psyches — it's usually a Hail Mary pass thrown by desperate management trying to dodge a PR disaster. But we're not living in normal times, especially in the volatile energy business, when on June 1, 2015, after revamping its technology, refineries and fuels, and then followed by long, careful deliberation, Neste Oil, a Finnish oil refining and marketing company, officially dropped "oil" from its name. That typographically small but momentous change dramatically illustrated the company’s recent growth (see its press release).
“Products based on renewable feedstocks have become a significant part of Neste's business, and the word "oil," referring to fossil crude oil, no longer gives a correct overall picture of the company,” president and CEO, Matti Lievonen said.

Read the full article here:

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

UK investment fund acquires Capstone Infrastructure for $480 million CAD

Irving Infrastructure, a subsidiary of iCON Infrastructure Partners III, is offering $4.90 CAD for each common share, which is a 44 per cent premium on the January 19 closing price and 61 per cent above the closing share price on November 23, when Capstone announced it was undertaking a strategic review. "Our goal has been to grow the company to benefit from the immense opportunities in the infrastructure sector and we are pleased that iCON Infrastructure recognizes the inherent value of Capstone's assets," says Capstone chairman V. James Sardo.

Source: CanWEA

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Bullfrog Power making in-roads in Saskatchewan - Hilton Doubletree signed up as the first hotel in Saskatchewan to use green electricity

Bullfrog Power, through its work as a social enterprise, supports community renewable projects in Saskatchewan and across Canada. In Saskatchewan, Bullfrog Power's community partners include First Nations Power Authority and Saskatoon's Broadway Theatre.

Read more: