The shift towards low-emission mobility in Finland took a leap when the capital of Helsinki, in June, decided to start using advanced biofuels in all city buses, working machines and other heavy-duty vehicles by 2020. The fuels are made of residues and waste.
The shift will remarkably cut CO2 emissions of the existing fleet. The buses will also meet strict emission requirements and achieve significant NOx, NO2 and PM reductions. The regional transport system will be decarbonised in a very cost-effective manner. The air quality in the Helsinki area is expected to improve especially in the center. The shift is a result of the Smart & Clean project which aims at making the Helsinki area transport system the most interesting low emission transport system in the world. Using high quality, advanced biofuels does not necessarily mean new infrastructure for alternative fuels or new vehicles, meaning results can be reached at reasonable costs without high investment.
Using high quality advanced biofuels, particle emissions can be cut by as high as 30% and GHG emissions will be cut by 80-90%. The greenhouse gas savings is calculated with the methodology outlined in EU’s Renewable Energy Directive.
Some 1,400 buses are operating in the local traffic of the Helsinki area. The buses use 40.000 tons of fuels on an annual basis. The Bio-Sata project will be monitoring the effects on air quality, energy efficiency and service needs for the fleet. The arrangements of traffic in the Helsinki region is organised by the HSL arranging 360 million trips every year – and the number is growing. The turnover is €600 million.
The capacity of producing advanced biofuels in Finland is at the moment 500,000 tons of diesel but also some ethanol. The most largest producer is Neste Ltd.