Kolarctic actions towards energy efficiency


Many of us already understand that opening and closing windows in cold winter weather is an outdated way of adjusting temperature. Yet it is still used in places, although one should instead try to find out where the excess heat is comes from. Are we wasting energy?

The heating and illumination of residential, business and industrial premises and public buildings pose an energy saving challenge to all the countries in the Barents region. Based on long, even age-old, experience, the countries have quite a lot of expertise in the field in international terms. Petri Kuisma, an energy engineering expert, says that Finland is slightly ahead its neighbours in the use and development of technology improving the energy efficiency of buildings. By saying this, he may be exaggerating 'just a little bit'.  Finland, Sweden, Norway and Russia all have their strengths and weaknesses. A lot can be done by combining strengths, and cooperation projects between the countries are in fact increasing. Funding from the Kolarctic ENPI CBC programme has been used to support three projects during the period 2007-2013, which only represent a fraction of the whole cooperation scheme.

Petri Kuisma works as a special expert and a principal lecturer of energy engineering at Rovaniemi University of Applied Sciences. He has been following energy policy in the Nordic countries and Russia, and development and legislation related to the energy efficiency of buildings.

According to the act that entered into force in Russia in 2009, the owners of new private buildings must furnish their buildings with energy meters. The act has been followed to the extent that according to Petri Kuisma, energy use in the Murmansk area is measured with extremely high-quality, precise instruments in places - even in buildings where energy saving has almost been forgotten.

Norway's strength is its energy resources and innovations related to the adoption of new energy sources. One could of course think that there are already enough energy sources in Norway. However, Norway also pays attention to energy saving by supporting measures to improve the energy-efficiency of at least industry and public institutions.

However, according to some information, efforts to improve energy efficiency have run into difficulties particularly in the public sector and in municipalities. Of the latter, only some have participated in energy saving campaigns. Municipalities say that projects targeted at energy efficiency improvements are unprofitable compared with the savings they would produce.

In Sweden, projects improving energy efficiency and saving natural resources are being developed patiently. One of Sweden's strengths is its broad experience in passive energy houses, hundreds of which have already been constructed there.

As to Finland, Petri Kuisma feels that inconsistency and looking at things in the short term are Finland's weaknesses in decision-making connected with energy production.


Euroarctic energy saving can be a model for the rest of the world

The Efficient Energy Management in Barents Region – ENERU project compares the practices and decrees in Finland, Sweden and Russia that apply to energy inspections, energy certificates, and construction, heating, air-conditioning and electrification solutions. The preliminary assumption is that Russia does not have as broad an energy inspection model as do Finland and Sweden. There is thus interest to export energy advice expertise to Russia. ENERU is financed out of the Kolarctic ENPI CBC programme, through which EU money and government aid from Finland, Russia and Sweden are channelled to the project.

Three cases have been selected for the project from the cities of Apatity and Kirovsk in the Murmansk area, comprising properties that act as pilots and examples in the project. Thorough energy inspections and measurements will be conducted at the sites. Energy renovation measures will be planned based on the measurements. The process as a whole provides information on how different factors affect energy efficiency and its development particularly in Russia. 

The project produces not only energy advice expertise, but also information on the conditions and markets in Russia. The information will be of use to companies operating in the sector in the Barents region and elsewhere and offering energy use management products and services. Contacts to the business sector are available at least through the Municipality of Piteå, Micropolis in Ii and Bionova, which all participate in the project.


Demand for heat pumps is boosting  in the Barents region

Demand for services and products required for developing energy efficiency in Russia is increasing all the time, as it has elsewhere in the Arctic area for a long time. The Russian legislation and the general ways of thinking have promoted this trend. Markets are emerging in Russia for heat pumps and the builders of geothermal heating solutions. There are a lot of service providers of this kind in Scandinavia, and they are also competitive. Petri Kuisma says that it is still quite expensive to have geothermal heating installed by Russian companies, as compared with corresponding services provided by Finnish companies, for instance.

One of the things behind the HePuPro, or Heat Pump Promotion, project was that Rovaniemi University of Applied Sciences houses the only independent heat pump testing station in Finland. A project was planned between the University of Narvik, the Murmansk Agency for Energy Efficiency and the Rovaniemi University of Applied Sciences that will combine the growing demand for heat pumps in Russia, the research and development expertise of the University of Narvik and the opportunities offered by the laboratory of Rovaniemi University of Applied Sciences. HePuPro is one of the projects financed out of the Kolarctic ENPI CBC programme.

This article is available as .pdf here: Kolarctic Actions towards energy efficiency

The article in Finnish: Kolarctic-alueella kehitetään energiatehokkuutta




What about doing your on-the-job learning period across the border?

Cooperation between vocational education institutes is increasing in vocational schools as well as the universities. One example is the Kolarctic ENPI project ConEct. The magazine of Lapland Vocational School  "Käpyset" presented the project with examples of young men and women studying construction and earthworks, who went to learn in the neigbouring country; in Kautokeino,Övertorneå, Murmansk...   See the article here in.pdf : ConEct - activities across Arctic Borders

The article in Finnish: ConEct - liikettä yli pohjoisten rajojen





ENVIMINE pays attention to the environmental effects of mine closure

New mines are put into operation on the Kolarctic region, but in the same time active deposits are scheduled for closure. The challenges of mine closure The challenges of the mine closure will arise; closed mines may have a negative impact on surrounding water, soil and air. This can be prevented by good planning, and therefore information about the surroundings of the mine in question is needed.

The project will develop innovative methodology concerning environmentally safe mine closure.  Its central question is, how can a mine be closed so that the effects of the closed mine on the environment is minimized. One cannot forget that there is not a global solution for this: the conditions on e.g. the Kolarctic area are specific.

This will is carried out in cooperation between mining and environment experts from three countries.  Three case mines from Sweden, Finland and Russia participate in the project. The Geological Survey Finland is the Lead Partner, with Kola Science Center, Luleå Technical University among the partners.



  Umbozero mine is a closed mine that is one of the case mines in ENVIMINE-project. The mine is located in Murmansk region, nearby lake Umba





People from Kola Science Center and Geological Survey Finland are preparing field measurements. Research expert Pentti Kouri, geologist Juri Smirnov, interpreter Oksana Bystrova,  geologist Aleksander Orlov and manager Peter Johansson.





The project SWOP is also known as “ Northern Cross-Border Cultural Experts”. It is lead by Calotte Center (Kalottikeskus) in Ivalo, Finland, that is a municipal organization working with education and development – and development of education, that is central in SWOP.

The project wants to Increase the interest of Lappish students for cross-border cooperation, Russian culture and Russian language. Also the Murmansk students will gain practical experience in Lapland and a chance to develop their expertise, know-how and competences in cultural issues. In short, the project wants to  make students more aware of their own possibilities that cross- border cooperation has to offer in their expertise, know-how and competence.

Another target group of the project is teachers, both Russian and Finnish teachers. Their expertise on cultural issues, their own substance field will be strengthened . To them, the project will also introduce new pedagogical practices and support their working life contacts in North Lapland and Murmansk areas.

All this will, firstly, be gained with various activities: the project will e.g. arrange exhange of students and teachers between Finnish Lapland and Murmansk region in Russia. This is done in the branches of culture, education and entrepreneurship.

The Calotte Center´s partners in the project are Moscow Academy of Entrepreneurship Murmansk Branch, Murmansk Industrial College, Sámi Education Institution (Inari, Finland), Sodankylä Institute (Lapland Vocational College) and Municipality of Inari


  The brighter sides of project life: SWOP participants meet Santa Claus in Rovaniemi



Salmon management needs more specified knowledge

How does the salmon migrate? What fishing restrictions do we need, and where and how? This remains a permanent conversation topic along the shores and in the local newspapers. Kolarctic Salmon is a project that aims at merging modern science with traditional salmon fishing knowledge – in order to create a future sustainable, long-term and knowledge-based salmon management of the common Atlantic salmon stocks in the Barents region. 

The project’s area is huge, reaching from Nordland county in Norway to Pechora region in Russia. A remarkable share of the existing wild Atlantic salmon stocks live on this area.

The project is essentially a research project, that utilizes the developed methods of DNA analysis. Using today´s methods it is possible to use salmon scale in DNA analysis and find out e.g. the home river or population group of the individual.

The project will produce e.g. a genetic map of the wild salmon stocks on the region, knowledge on the development and migration patterns of the different stocks.

The project also needs the help of fishermen on the region. They have the traditional knowledge about the behavior and the migrating of the salmon. The project interviews fishermen and combines the gained knowledge with the results of laboratory research. The fishermen also participate in collecting of the salmon scale samples.

Finnmark County Governor´s office (Norway) is the Lead Partner of the Kolarctic Salmon project. Game and Fisheries Research Institute and Turku University (Kevo research station) contribute as Finnish partners. The Russian partner is The Knipovitch Polar Research Institute of Marine Fisheries and Oceanography (PINRO). Two more Norwegian partners participate: Norwegian Institute of Nature Research (NINA) and Institute of Marine Research Norway (IMR) participate.





The sports facilities of Eastern Lapland and the nearby towns in Russia are utilised - to the full

Kemijärvi municipality has started a project today known as Kolarctic Sports. The aim of the project is that the participants of sports activities could make use of all the sports facilities on the region – the country borders notwithstanding. The towns Kemijärvi, Salla, Kandalaksha, Kirovsk and Polarnie Zori are participating in the project as partners, and numerous sports associations also participate.

The sports facilities in these towns and villages differ from each other. In every town, there is more or less crowds of eager opponents, sparring partners and participants for sports camps. When the towns unite their resources, arranging sports events is more fun than acting just within the limited resources (and limited amount of possible friends) of the home town.

One aspect of this co-operation is that it results also to some personal relations between the citizens of the neighbouring countries. These are not usual on the border between Lapland and Russia – at least, they are not self-evident, like personal relations with Swedes on the western border of Finnish Lapland.

A part of the projec´s financing is allocated to improvement of the sports sites – so that they can carry the increased challenges related to the international activities. The project is aiming to increase both sports activities and demand and motivation to develop the facilities further, and thus create an upward spiral of development.

FC  Kemijärven Pallo girls traveled, this time to Piteå Summer Games