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Lahti tests Vaisala, what to expect from new technology

Finland is one of the cleanest countries not only in Europe but in the world. It has a low population and huge areas of untouched nature, which makes it easier to protect the environment. However, the Finnish government has invested vast amounts of money to clean up the polluted lakes and rivers.

More and more countries are committing to a cleaner environment and the reduction of emissions. Finland is also aiming to become carbon neutral in the next decades. Similarly, to Finland, Australia aims to cut its carbon emissions.

Renewable energy

Australia deploys renewable energy 10 times faster than any other country in the world. Therefore, by implementing the technology developed by the Vaisala company, it can reduce emissions and reach the target faster.

More and more countries are committing to a cleaner environment and the reduction of emissions. Currently, Finland generates just around 20% of the clean energy. The majority of it is hydro energy, which is 19% and less than 1% is wind energy.

However, by 2050, the Finnish government plans to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gas by 80-95%. This means the elimination of almost all emissions from energy consumption.

Several municipalities have already joined the Carbon Neutral Municipalities project and committed to the plan on reduction of the emissions by 80% by 2030. The effects of it have already been visible. For instance, the air quality has already improved around industrial locations and large cities.

What is Vaisala?

Vaisala Oyj is a Finnish technological company, which develops, manufactures products and services for the environment. The company was founded in 1931 by the Finnish professor Vilho Väisälä, who found a fallen Russian radiosonde. It was an instrument to forecast the weather.

Radiosonde is a battery-powered telemetry instrument, which is carried in the atmosphere by the weather balloon. At a particular height, it starts to measure the parameters of the atmosphere and transmit them to the ground receiver. However, the technology was outdated and the professor started to think about ways on how it could be improved.

A couple of years later, he developed his first pieces of innovative radiosonde. They were sold to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1936 and since then the company has been the leader in weather, environmental, and industrial measurements. The company’s headquarters are in the Finnish city of Vantaa. However, it operates in 25 countries around the world and employs more than 2000 people. The net sales were €379.5 million in 2020.

Vaisala and renewable energy

The company implemented new technology solar energy. In 2015, it set the goal to move towards 100% renewable energy and the company was able to reach the target by the end of 2020. The target included all locations of the Vaisala company worldwide. By the cooperation with the local renewable energy companies and implementation of the technologies developed by them, Vaisala was able to reach the target earlier than expected.

Moreover, at the beginning of 2021, the company presented an innovation, the Visala MGP262. It is a measurement solution, which is used to optimize the upgrading of biogas to biomethane. Vaisala MGP262 also helps to decrease the levels of methane slipped into the atmosphere.

Pilot hyperlocal air quality solution

Lahti is a city and municipality in Finland with a population of around 120,000. Moreover, it is one of the municipalities, which have set a target to reduce greenhouse emissions by 80% until 2030. Currently, the city is working with the Vaisala company to reach the goal. In Finland, all municipalities are bound to know the air quality in their regions and Vaisala has been measuring air quality in Lahti since the beginning of the 1980s.

Vaisala established cost-effective compact air quality sensors in 2021 as a part of the Lahti European Green Capital 2021 project. The sensors measure and analyze the air quality in the city area. The measurement of the air quality is not only important due to the target set by the government, but the bad quality of the air could harm people with respiratory diseases.

By checking the information on the air quality, they might decide to stay at home or to take the medication with them, if they feel unwell. Moreover, the measurement of the air quality will help to identify their areas, where some work has to be done to reduce the emissions.

The city is intending to generate more solar and wind energy to decrease the level of emissions produced from wood burning by households. The company has thought about some solutions, which include the release of the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon in the air during the burning of fossil fuels. It will decrease the amount of dust on the streets and will make the streets cleaner.

However, it is a complex project, and to reach carbon neutrality, new forms of collaboration between the private and public sectors and civil society are needed. Vaisala, as a leading global technology company, continues to invent and implement new technological solutions to improve the quality of the air on the planet.

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