Pilot case

Rapid transitioning to CO2 free power system in Finland

A course on electricity distribution and markets fit for the 21st century.
Rapid transitioning to CO2 free power system in Finland

Pilot leader

John Millar


School of Electrical Engineering


86 students


Aug 2018 – Oct 2018


Within this pilot we intend to develop two courses in Power Systems, focusing first on ELEC-E8406 (Electricity Distribution and Markets), that will 1) enhance self-learning with automated tools and video material and 2) engage students with online visualisation/exploration tools.

Furthermore this pilot will initiate/contribute to discussions and policy on tangible steps towards swiftly eliminate CO2emissions from power systems (noting that there are other initiatives at Aalto in this direction, e.g. ASH)

This pilot is predicated on the (contentious) assertion that the electricity grid, in these northern latitudes, is an enabler in getting the carbon out of the power system by connecting renewable and carbon-free energy sources. For best impact this system must be geographically distributed (in a given location the sun is not usually shining, the wind is not usually blowing, but over a wide area something is more likely to be happening!), noting that:

  • electricity storage will also be needed but is still expensive
  • we have a 6-month storage challenge in Finland with respect to solar…
  • the lifetime of the primary components in the power system is greater than 40 years, and that copper, aluminium and steel are recyclable
  • power lines are not the same as a coal power station!
  • the losses in the combined transmission and distribution networks is 3-5%, and that the scale advantage and capacity factors of large wind turbines far outweigh the benefit of only producing electricity locally with smaller devices
  • the future carbon-free power system in Finland is likely to be a combination of nuclear, hydro, large wind-turbines in wind parks and off-shore, roof-top photovoltaics and small-scale storage, back-up and fast response bio-fuel generation and large-scale storage, and controllable loads (demand response) to help manage the stochasticity of wind and photovoltaics and the inflexibility of nuclear.

Platforms and tools

MyCourses, Panopto, Matlab, Mathcad, own algorithms (in C and Matlab), TrimbleNIS, Excel

Involved courses

ELEC-E8406 – Electricity Distribution and Markets (5 ECTS)


John Millar
School of Electrical Engineering, Department of Electrical Engineering and Automation
Pilot leader

Matti Lehtonen
School of Electrical Engineering, Department of Electrical Engineering and Automation

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