Fortum is a clean energy provider founded in Finland in 1998, dedicated to providing green energy solutions and sustainable heating and cooling systems. It provides electricity along with heating and cooling systems through its multiple energy creation channels, ranging from hydroelectric and nuclear power stations to solar power plants. It takes pride in its ability to produce 57% of its energy completely CO2 free. This equates to a massive 7.6 gigawatts of energy.
They specialise in creating district heating networks, utilising within these some of the heat energy which is produced in data centres in the surrounding areas. Data centres produce a lot of heat, which provides a great opportunity to put this energy that would otherwise be wasted back into the grid through a district heating system. This is the driving force for their focus on building a cleaner world with the help of their customers. Their innovative approach to creating sustainable energy solutions ranked them in joint first place in the Carbon Disclosure Project’s Nordic Climate Index.
Fortum offers a range of energy services, with district heating being one of the most notable. They also provide recycling services, as well as reutilisation and environmental construction. They have several co-generation plants, which involves the generation of electricity paired with the collection of useful heat for other purposes – a very efficient approach to energy production.
The company is headquartered in Espoo, Finland. Their operating focus is on the Nordic and Baltic countries, whilst also providing services in Poland, Russia and India. At one point in time, Fortum had a portfolio of solar power plants in India producing 185 MW of electricity. They have since sold 54% of this to UK Climate Investments (40%) and Elite Alfred Berg (14%). These deals were worth around €150 million.
Fortum is owned by the state and has just over 8000 employees based across all of their sites and power plants. They reach around 2.5 million customers, and for this reason they are regarded as the largest electricity retailer in all of the Nordics. Their estimated sales for 2018 were €5.2 billion, with EBITDA up 12% versus that of 2017 at €473 million.
Fortum made the news in October of 2019 when they acquired the German energy firm Uniper, buying a 70.5% stake in the company for an estimated €6.2 billion. This is the latest move in their push to remain at the forefront of European clean energy production.
Moving in the Right Direction
Fortum has already made its mark on the energy industry and will only continue to increase its footprint across the continent. This is great news for the climate, as a rate of production of energy that is CO2 free of 57% is very impressive, and as they grow as a company and continue to improve their energy efficiency, these carbon dioxide emissions will fall even further. Although not a direct cloud service provider, their ability to reuse the heat energy produced within data centres makes them an integral part in the future of cloud computing, and they have set the trend for energy companies in the future. If we’re ever to change to a carbon neutral world, we’re going to need a lot more companies like these.