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EFREA - Energy-efficient systems based on renewable energy for Arctic conditions

EFREA project aims are to improve cross-border institutional framework with the increased level of knowledge, innovative potential and lifelong learning in renewable energy production in the Arctic conditions and utilization of big data collected from welding operations to ensure quality and productivity. It develops guidelines, recommendations and educational materials on implementation of lightweight energy-independent, robust, environmentally safe and cost-effective structures able to operate in the extreme temperatures.

It is a common tendency nowadays, that technology for the Arctic is developed in technological clusters, which are located elsewhere. Examples of this could be South Korea, Singapore and Norway, these countries are not located in the Arctic, but they have high level of technology for the Arctic conditions. Our program area is an emerging cluster for Arctic technology development, which utilizes extensive Russian and Finnish experience and have high scientific competence and technical knowledge. To remain competitive in the field of Arctic engineering, strong cross-border cooperation is needed and institutional frameworks should be established. The project will assess the usability of materials and advanced joining methods. Implementation of a renewables based energy system will contribute to the safety and reliability of infrastructural facilities, improve transportation, and reduce the environmental impact of operations in the Arctic region. The project plans to utilize some of the results of two previous ENPI projects, "Arctic Materials Technology Development" (LUT, FSUE CRISM Prometey) and Promotion of the use of Wind Energy and Landfill Waste in Energy Production "BLESK" (KYAMK, SPbPU).

The problem the project is planning to solve are the extreme challenges in developing structures for remote Arctic areas. A key aspect is the need for cost-efficient ways of manufacturing Arctic structures, for example, for exploitation of the Arctic`s wind energy generation potential in remote areas. Solving this problem requires a cross-disciplinary approach that includes improvements to materials selection, greater knowledge of the applicability of various materials and joining methods, development of manufacturing methods, and new wind energy technologies. Recent technological advances in these areas, which are part of the cooperation partners' expertise, may bring considerable improvements beneficial to Russia, Finland and other Arctic nations. A further problem that has been identified is the limited number of qualified specialists in the area of energy and materials science, in particular as regards expertise in operations in harsh environments, which indicates a need for improved education curricula.

Solutions developed during the project will provide significant cost-reduction, efficiency gains and other benefits for construction of structures and vessels for operations in remote areas of the Arctic. Consequently, the biggest target group is the population of Northern areas, who will gain access to cheaper and more ecologically friendly renewable energy production and more reliable infrastructure.

Cross-border cooperation allows expertise from both Finland and Russia to be combined to increase the education opportunities and professional knowledge, and to develop technology for efficient operations in the Arctic area. Cooperation between engineers and professionals familiar with the technology and operations in their respective countries, both of which have first-hand experience of Arctic conditions, will be highly beneficial for economic development of the region. The project includes various activities promoting learning, such as development of common educational curricula, research exchanges, joint academic publications and seminars.

Project Partners

Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology LUT, Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University and National Research Centre "Kurchatov Institute" Federal State Unitary Enterprise Academician I.V. Gorynin Central Research Institute of Structural Materials Prometey are the partners in EFREA project.




Cross-Border Cooperation ENI Finland-Russia project
The project is funded by The South-East Finland – Russia CBC 2014-2020 programme (European Union, the Russian Federation and the Republic of Finland)

Execution time
1.11.2018 – 31.10.2021

Project Manager / LUT,
Antti Martikainen
+358 50 3427 317