Energy efficiency markets deliver goods and services that aim to reduce the energy required to fuel the economy. IEA estimates that investment in energy efficiency markets worldwide in 2012 was between USD 310 billion and USD 360 billion, distributed unevenly across countries and energy-consuming sectors (buildings, domestic appliances, transport and industry)1.

The global need for energy efficiency is driven by multiple trends. Energy prices are one of the key drivers behind the expansion of the energy efficiency market. High prices for oil and gas have stimulated technological innovation, enhanced energy efficiency in various sectors, and provided incentives for investments in energy efficiency. Dependency on imported energy is another trend that has gained attention lately, especially within the European Union. By reducing its reliance on increasingly scarce fuels and materials through energy efficiency, the EU can increase energy security and reduce vulnerability to oil shocks.

These trends have also enabled the creation of policies aiming to reduce market barriers impeding energy efficiency investments and empowering consumers to move to resource-efficient consumption. For example, European Commission has launched a flagship initiative for a resource-efficient Europe under the Europe 2020 strategy. The Finnish national energy efficiency plan includes measures in different sectors resulting in energy savings of over 50 TWh by 2020, which means that Finland is on its way to achieve the EU energy efficiency targets.

1IEA. Energy Efficiency Market Report 2014. Available:

2 Energiatehokkuuden kehittyminen Suomessa. Arviot menneisyydestä ja tulevaisuudesta. VTT 2014.


The lighting industry is changing dramatically. LED light source is regarded as a viable alternative due to its enhanced performance, longer life time and reduced power consumption. The current LED technology provides efficiencies in the range of 30-50 %, and as the technology advances, the efficiency is expected to increase up to 80 % over the next 10 years.1

The market share occupied by fluorescent lighting is rapidly being eroded by LED lighting. New advances in technology have produced not only brighter but also more energy-efficient lighting solutions.

Examples of Green Growth enterprise projects

Energy-efficient lighting solutions

Established in 2009, Greenled, an LED light manufacturer and service provider, has relocated its manufacturing facilities from China to Finland. In doing so, Greenled improved its quality control and shortened the time it takes to supply its clients. Tekes provided funding for the production localization process.

Valtavalo aims for international growth

Valtavalo is aiming for the global market after relocating their LED tube production from China to a fully automated production line in Kajaani, Finland. Internationalization has been a carefully considered and natural process resulting from the introduction of fully automated production in Kajaani in 2012. At the end of 2013, Valtavalo received a strategic capital investment of EUR 350,000 from carefully selected investors who had experience in managing large-scale business operations and internationalization. Valtavalo also received a EUR 250,000 grant as part of Tekes’ funding for young innovative companies.

1 Frost & Sullivan. Futuretech alert. Future of LED lighting. Published 23 Aug 2013.


Retrofit energy efficiency investments in buildings are considered to be one of the easiest ways for reducing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. The total market for energy efficiency projects in the building sector just within the EU is estimated to be worth up to 39 billion euros annually by 2020. As energy consumption within buildings is the single largest component of global energy use and CO2 emissions, at ca. 40% and ca. 30% respectively, it is obvious that energy efficiency measures are important in buildings.

Examples of Green Growth enterprise projects

LeaseGreen makes saving energy easier than ever

The idea is in planning, implementation and funding of energy-efficiency measures on a turnkey basis. LeaseGreen customers pay a monthly fee to improve their energy efficiency. The savings begin immediately, and the company’s own budget funds aren’t tied up in investments.

“LeaseGreen has high growth targets and operations have started well. Support from Tekes has allowed us to take important steps more rapidly than would otherwise have been possible.”

Tomi Mäkipelto
Chief Executive Officer, LeaseGreen Group Oy

Read more:

News (in Finnish): LeaseGreenille Vuoden energiateko 2014 -tunnustus

LeaseGreen’s Green Growth project: NegaWatt-energiatehokkuusrahasto

Fourdeg energy efficiency = better district heating business with less fuel consumption

Fourdeg is developing energy saving products and services for water radiator heated buildings. The system learns the individual thermal response for each room and adapts to dynamic changes in the environment.

“The market niche is growing at the same pace with the importance of energy efficiency. In many countries, regulations require buildings to save in energy costs. Many companies are looking for cost savings through lower energy costs. Our application is a viable way for this, as it quickly pays for itself.”

Markku Makkonen
CEO, Fourdeg

Read more:

Results and impact (in Finnish): Fourdeg – sparrauksen kautta kasvu-uralle

Tekniikka & Talous, 5.12.2014: Fourdeg haluaa karsia turhaa lämmitystä

Fourdeg’s Green Growth project: Fourdeg Better with Less

Arealtec – a comprehensive energy efficiency concept

The goal of Arealtec’s project is to develop a comprehensive energy efficiency concept and an interface for monitoring, collecting and reporting measurement data from buildings. The concept consists of reporting models and several measurement and calculating tools, e.g. tools for calculating and comparing energy consumption between several buildings and evaluating different energy improvement measures.

Read more:

Arealtec’s Green Growth project: ENTEKO

1 Bank of America Merrill Lynch –
”Global Energy Efficiency Primer – less is more”, published on 18 April 2013.


Distributed power generation means that the power is generated at the point of consumption. Generating the power on-site may reduce the need for expanded transmission and distribution systems. As solutions for distributed generation gain market share, it poses a threat to the centralized utility model. However, preventing dangerous climate change requires finding new ways to deploy renewable energy and sustainable technologies, so that the wider use of distributed generation solutions may be both desirable and inevitable.

Examples of Green Growth enterprise projects

Convion: Premium energy efficiency with fuel cell system

Convion is developing fuel cell solutions for distributed power generation applications by commercializing 50-300 kW products based on SOFC technology. Convion is aiming to become a leading provider of sustainable and secure fuel cell solutions for customers in in distributed power generation markets.

Read More:

Convion presentation from a Green Growth event 28.5.2014:

Tekes Review 301/2013: Fuel cells and hydrogen in Finland

Oilon: Hybrid solutions and Super IowNOx burning technology

Oilon is developing technology that will create significantly lower NOx emission levels in gas burning than is required in Europe at present. This new technology is also technically more advanced, more environmentally friendly and more cost efficient than the competing solutions.

Read More:

Oilon’s Green Growth project: Ultra Low NOx Polttimet “NoNOx”


In order to assess the development of Green Growth practices and approaches in Finland, it is important to monitor and compare them to other countries. Comprehensive system-level change including society, businesses and consumers also requires the support of various administrative sector measures and initiatives.

Examples of Green Growth research projects

Accelerating Transition Towards Sustainable Energy System within System-level Innovation Framework

Environmental issues and sustainable energy technology development and operation in the society require a paradigm shift that must be met in all the different levels of society. SUSER project is based in the so-called transition management approach that was developed in the Netherlands. The main objective in the project is to find new ways to speed up environmentally friendly and sustainable energy innovations to take root in the Finnish society.

Low Carbon Finland 2050 Platform

Initiatives of developing roadmaps for moving to a low carbon economy by 2050 have been taken by many European authorities, including the European Commission. Using the ETSAP TIMES modeling framework as the central tool, Low Carbon Finland 2050 -platform project analyses the implications of low carbon policies within Europe, with a special focus on the Finnish energy system. The main objective of the work in the Low Carbon Finland 2050 -platform project was to identify cost-effective and robust pathways for moving into a low carbon economy by 2050, by creating a set of different scenarios for the future society and economy.

Future Innovation and Technology Policy for Sustainable System-level Transitions: the Case of Transport

The overall aim of FIPTrans project was to generate policy options for innovation policy that will facilitate system-level transitions and green growth in the transport sector and related industries in Finland. The project analysed different pathways for sustainability transitions in the passenger transport system, and provided policy recommendations in four categories: support for experimentation for niche development, policy integration for regime change, market formation for consolidating regime shifts, and recognition and support of ‘neglected niches’.

Green Transitions – Global and Local Policies, Institutions, and Experiences in Finland and Emerging Economies

GreenTrans project seeks to identify and explain various ongoing and potential pathways to green transitions. It examines particularly Finnish green governance and the possibilities and hindrances that related policies and practices create for development of green innovations in a global context. The project uses a multi-level perspective (MLP) approach that combines micro- and macro-level analysis of politico-economic changes in relation to green technologies through two different research perspectives:

  1. National level policy analysis: How is green growth understood and implemented in different sectors and policies in Finland, especially national innovation and environmental policies?
  2. Analysis of local cases in the global environment (“glocal” level): What are possible and existing cooperation areas of green growth for Finnish companies with emerging economies like Brazil, Mexico and India?

Green Growth programme actively promotes international collaboration by helping organizations to recognize potential partners, providing foresight information about international markets, and supporting the participation of small and medium sized companies in Horizon 2020. In order to keep our activities up-to-date, we have continuously updated and re-adjusted our internationalisation efforts through in-depth discussions with companies, and asking companies about their plans and needs regarding internationalisation by conducting surveys.

EU and Horizon 2020

Horizon 2020, the new EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, was launched in January 2014. It is the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme ever with nearly €80 billion of funding available over 7 years (2014-2020) – it offers vast opportunities for funding and networking for Finnish organizations.

Green Growth programme supports small and medium sized companies to utilize the possibilities offered by Horizon 2020. After discussions with companies we recognized the following needs:

  • Information about the benefits of Horizon 2020
  • Focused information about topics related to Green Growth
  • Foresight information about upcoming funding instruments, for example SME Instrument
  • Sparring help to refine project ideas and start preparations
  • Support in finding the right partners

In the first SME Instrument call in Horizon 2020, five Finnish SME’s got funded of which two were Green Growth companies.


Tekes promotes R&D and innovation cooperation between Chinese and Finnish universities, research institutes, companies and officials especially in the greater Beijing area, Shanghai and Yangtze delta, and the Pearl river delta. Finland and China have been developing close science and technology cooperation since 1986. Today, Tekes is part of the Team Finland network together with other public Finnish key actors in China.

Tekes Green Growth and Groove programmes have been co-operating with China Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces. Co-operation between Tekes Groove and Jiangsu province started in 2012, and in the beginning of 2013 Tekes Groove and the Jiangsu province organized a Joint Call for Proposals in the Cleantech area. In October 2013, Tekes Groove programme organized a Cleantech Roadshow in Jiangsu province, China. In 2014, Tekes and China’s MOST Ministry of Science and Technology launched a Joint Call for Companies for Cleantech R&D projects.

In October 2014, Tekes Green Growth and Groove programmes together organized an event in Finland for a Chinese delegation. The delegation included companies, representatives from Zhejiang province Science & Technology department, and representatives from universities and research organizations. In November 2014, Green Growth and Groove programmes organized a delegation visit to China for Finnish companies in cleantech, ICT and healthcare sectors.

Read More:

China Law and IPR Workshop 10.10.2013

Opening of the Workshop – Programme Manager Kari Herlevi, Tekes

China Corporate Format, Risk Management and IPR Protection, Recepies for the success in the Most Demanding Market – CEO Jari Vepsäläinen, Fintrade-Mercer Group

Technology Protection and China IPR, How to protect your Technology and Intellectual Properties in the Most Demanding Environment– IP Director Flora Ho, Fintrade-Mercer Group


Brazil is the world’s leading user of biomass, and it has significant raw material reserves and a diverse range of renewable energy sources, especially wind, solar and wave energy. It offers a developed industrial base, high standards in scientific research and substantial human capital.

More and more Finnish companies are interested in going to Brazil and the collaboration possibilities that exist. There also exists an increasing interest from Brazil’s perspective in international co-operation. For a successful market entry, one needs to find a suitable partner. Tekes Green Growth programme is supporting this effort, aiming to increase co-operation between Finnish and Brazilian growth companies.

In late 2014, Tekes and FINEP (the Brazilian Agency for Innovation) launched a Finnish-Brazilian joint call to companies. The process is based on a cooperation agreement between Tekes and Finep, which is in force until 31 December 2016. More information about the call.


India’s GDP is growing rapidly and so are the business opportunities in the country. India has also top level science and technology knowledge, which makes it an interesting partner in innovation development.

Currently 130 Finnish companies are operating in India. Tekes promotes innovation cooperation between Finnish and Indian companies and universities in Tekes Programmes and through joint funding calls. Every year, we fund around 10 – 25 projects, where Finnish companies and research groups collaborate with Indian partners. Cleantech, digitalization and resource efficient frugal innovation are some of the areas of innovation cooperation.

In November 2012, a Finnish cleantech delegation visited in India and participated to one of the most significant renewable energy fairs, Indian Renewable Energy Expo. The cleantech delegation included representatives from Ministry of Employment and the Economy, Cleantech Finland, Tekes Green Growth and Groove programmes, Finnish companies from Tekes programmes as well as Indian companies.

Waste management in Russia

There is a demand for waste management and waste processing technologies from Russian megapolices’ governments, which will undoubtedly grow within next 5 years. The market looks promising for almost any contemporary technology of waste collecting, processing and utilization. There are also plans to enhance the development of public-private partnerships in order to attract private investors into this sector.

In 2013, Tekes initiated a foresight study of the Russian municipal solid waste management market in frames of the Team Finland Future Watch Process. The main purpose of the project was to identify development trends in municipal solid waste management and map business opportunities for Finnish companies in a 3-5 year perspective.

In support of this effort, Tekes Green Growth programme helped to build Finnish-Russian cooperation on waste management during 2013 and 2014. After a workshop Future Waste Management in Russian Megacities held in 25.10.2013, Green Growth programme collected feedback and facilitated further in depth discussions with interested participants. In June 2014, Team Finland organized a delegation visit to the Komi Republic in Russia. Green Growth programme helped to assemble a Finnish delegation, which was mainly comprised of waste management companies.

Saving natural resources

The consumption of natural resources is expected to double in the period 2000-2030. Progressively cheaper natural resources have underpinned global economic growth in the past, but this picture is now changing rapidly. If current trends continue, by 2050, the global population is expected to have grown by 30% to around 9 billion and the increased demand for natural resources puts pressure on our planet and threatens the security of supply.

Increasing energy and material efficiency will be the key driver in maintaining the functional capacity of our ecosystems to continue providing us the resources on which our economic and social well-being relies.

Energy efficient solutions
Smart lighting solutions save money and energy. Advances in technology have brought more energy efficient solutions to the market.
The energy saving potential in buildings is enormous. Innovative energy efficiency concepts makes saving energy easy and profitable.
Distributed power generation is the future. Sustainable power generation will decrease emissions while increasing power security.

Research projects funded by The Green Growth programme are supporting the planning, decision-making and transition towards more sustainable energy system, finding pathways to a low-carbon society, and generating policy options and frameworks for innovation policy that will facilitate system-level transitions in the transport sector in Finland.

Dozens of companies and research institutes on three continents operate in the international Green Growth network. The focus areas of international cooperation in the Green Growth programme are the Nordic countries, Germany, Russia, China, India and Brazil.
The framework for international cooperation within the Green Growth programme has given an opportunity for companies to develop their business strategies to suit the international markets and to join the global value networks of sustainable economy using high-quality and structured foresight information. Green Growth programme has been organizing and facilitating joint calls, delegation visits, seminars, workshops and excursions for learning and networking.