Vaasa EnergyWeek: “We need to try things in the field”

Juha Ripatti, Shekhar Kubal.
Juha Ripatti, Shekhar Kubal.
2 min

Field experiments, finance, know-how and a regulatory framework are the recipe for Finland to get ahead in the hydrogen race.  

Green hydrogen development and its technology were among the main topics for Thursday’s “Fossil Free Future” seminar. Shekhar Kubal, Head of Electrification at Danfoss, says that the energy transition is advancing so rapidly that we cannot spend 3-4 years in the laboratory.

“We need to try things in the field,” Kubal stresses.

Tuomas Hakala.
Tuomas Hakala.

Juha Ripatti, Head of Business Intelligence at Westenergy, explains that we already have the energy technology to move ahead and build large scale systems. He and the other experts, including Tuomas Hakala, Co-Founder at Convion, also agree that we will never find perfect solutions.

“Even if the first build is not a perfect solution, it has a lot of value. It is also important to keep your eyes open and not just optimize what we have today.” 

How to find financing?

Program Director Pia Karumaa at Danfoss, acting as the event moderator, did not hesitate to ask the burning questions about financing. 

“Who should take the financial risk in hydrogen development? What is the role of governments in this development?”

According to Juha Ripatti, private capital would answer the first question. Ripatti hopes that governments take the leading role in creating a regulatory framework that works.

“If it comes down to state-subsidized competition, we can never win,” Ripatti adds.

Scaling up requires many fields of expertise

Tuomas Hakala points out that the hydrogen cluster requires many fields of expertise in order to scale up, including everything from lawyers to installers.

“We must work with universities and the educational sector to make this possible.”

Eija Tanskanen.
Eija Tanskanen.

Professor Eija Tanskanen, Director of the Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory at the University of Oulu, says it is up to the universities to do the forefront research.

Eija Tanskanen also reminds us to consider all types of risk when building energy systems. Here, her field of expertise (including knowledge about Arctic natural hazards) comes in handy.

“Energy systems are vulnerable to electromagnetic disturbance from space,” she points out.

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