Wärtsilä today welcomed the Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin for an exclusive tour of Soletair Power’s facilities in Lappeenranta, Finland, to see Power-to-X technology in action. Power-to-X is a key technology to enable 100% renewable energy. The Power-to-X demonstration unit is a joint development project between Wärtsilä, Soletair Power and Q Power. It converts carbon dioxide (CO₂) captured from the indoor air into synthetic methane by combining hydrogen extracted from water and the carbon dioxide in a biomethanation process. The Prime Minister was hosted by Jaakko Eskola, CEO of Wärtsilä Corporation, Matti Rautkivi, Director, New business, Wärtsilä Energy, Petri Laaksonen, CEO of Soletair Power, and Ilkka Herlin, Founder and Chairman of the Board of Q Power. All participated in the tour to see how the technology works in action.
During her provincial trip, Prime Minister Marin got acquainted with environmental technology research and applications that promote emission reductions and green transition.
“We are honoured to have Prime Minister Sanna Marin visiting this pioneering demonstration unit, which is the first of its kind. We had exciting discussions about how smart technology enables sustainable societies. In cooperation with our partners Wärtsilä continues to invest in and develop technologies that will support the transition towards a 100% renewable energy future,” commented Wärtsilä’s CEO Jaakko Eskola during the visit.
A powerful partnership
Soletair Power, Q Power and Wärtsilä are together pioneering Power-to-X technology. The means for replacing fossil fuels exist already today, and Power-to-X is one of the key components needed in the final stage of achieving a 100% renewable energy future, while mitigating climate change and driving towards a carbon neutral society.
This Power-to-X unit allows the creation of carbon neutral and renewable synthetic fuels by capturing CO₂ from the air. In the future, fossil fuels will be replaced by these renewable synthetic fuels due to their lower impact on the climate. Power-to-X can decarbonise industries, transportation, and the energy sector while utilising existing infrastructures.
“The big driver for these technologies is the availability of ‘free’ excess electricity from wind and solar power. Hydrogen is relatively easy and cheap to produce, but it has low energy density and is thus expensive to transport or store as such. This explains the big push towards Power-to-X types of technologies, where hydrogen is further synthesised into methane or methanol, which are easier to handle and use in energy production,” says Matti Rautkivi, Director, New Business, Wärtsilä Energy.
Soletair Power is a Finnish start-up company that has developed the equipment to improve air quality in buildings by capturing carbon dioxide and converting it to a synthetic renewable fuel.
In addition to its flexible energy solutions, Wärtsilä conducts research on various future fuels and other cleantech innovations. Wärtsilä enables the development of Power-to-X through a number of projects, including seed funding to Soletair Power and a strategic partnership with Q Power.
Power-to-X and future fuels
Biomethane is more than hot air
Image caption: Sanna Marin, Finland’s Prime Minister; Jaakko Eskola, CEO of Wärtsilä Corporation; Matti Rautkivi, Director, New business, Wärtsilä Energy; Petri Laaksonen, CEO of Soletair Power, and Ilkka Herlin, Founder and Chairman of the Board of Q Power visiting the Power-to-X demonstration unit at Soletair Power in Lappeenranta, Finland. © Wärtsilä Corporation / Henri Juvonen.
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Wärtsilä Energy in brief
Wärtsilä Energy leads the transition towards a 100% renewable energy future. We help our customers unlock the value of the energy transition by optimising their energy systems and future-proofing their assets. Our offering comprises flexible power plants, energy management systems, and storage, as well as lifecycle services that ensure increased efficiency and guaranteed performance. Wärtsilä has delivered 72 GW of power plant capacity in 180 countries around the world.
Wärtsilä in brief
Wärtsilä is a global leader in smart technologies and complete lifecycle solutions for the marine and energy markets. By emphasising sustainable innovation, total efficiency and data analytics, Wärtsilä maximises the environmental and economic performance of the vessels and power plants of its customers. In 2019, Wärtsilä’s net sales totalled EUR 5.2 billion with approximately 19,000 employees. The company has operations in over 200 locations in more than 80 countries around the world. Wärtsilä is listed on Nasdaq Helsinki.