2023-05-08 16:54News

8 May 2023

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Today's Top Nordic Green News:
  • Norwegian industry minister advocates new energy policy, emphasising lower electricity prices
  • Lower fuel reduction obligation “helps families” but not green business in Sweden
  • Copenhagen aims to eliminate petrol and diesel cars by 2030, transitioning to hydrogen and electric vehicles
  • Nilar secures major deal with for ReOx® batteries worth SEK 110 million
  • NKT invests in new cable tower in Karlskrona factory in Sweden
Norwegian industry minister advocates new energy policy, emphasising lower electricity prices

Norwegian Industry Minister Jan Christian Vestre of the Labour Party (L) emphasises the need for lower electricity prices in Norway compared to Europe. He states that affordable and clean renewable energy has been a competitive advantage for Norway and should be so again. The proposal includes exploring possibilities within the EEA agreement to address price contagion and ensure strong political democratic control over energy resources. Vestre supports the development of new renewable energy in regions with insufficient power supply, such as northern Norway. The Labour Party also supports multiple energy sources, including land-based wind power, solar power, hydropower, and offshore wind, and is open to exploring alternative forms of energy such as nuclear power. Moreover, stricter control measures for electricity companies are proposed, including requirements for transparent marketing, stronger enforcement and sanctions for breaches of agreements.

Adresseavisen, VNExplorer, VG 

Lower fuel reduction obligation “helps families” but not green business in Sweden

The Swedish Tidö parties, parties who signed the Tidö governing agreement, have agreed to lower the reduction obligation (Sw. reduktionsplikt) to 6% for petrol and diesel. The party leaders write that the changes will come into effect next year. The reduction obligation entails that businesses need to mix biofuels in petrol and diesel in order to cut pollution associated with fossil-fuels, with the reduction obligation rate currently standing at 30.5% for diesel and 7.8% for petrol. Valid throughout the Kristersson (M) mandate period, the parties suggest that diesel prices could be cut by SEK 5.50 per litre – something that the head of Preem, a Swedish oil refiner, reckons is impossible. 

Drivkraft Sverige, a confederation dedicated to matters pertaining to fuel such as diesel and petrol, complained that the Tidö parties’ decision could undermine industry efforts to transition to greener business models. The Confederation of Swedish Enterprise (Sw: Svenskt näringsliv) welcomes the move, though urging caution as it will be harder for businesses to achieve their ESR targets, while the Swedish Confederation of Transport Enterprises (Sw: Transportföretagen) says the government has gone too far. Last autumn, the Tidö parties revealed their intentions to raise the ceiling to incentivise households to install solar panels. Overall, there are different opinions within the industry about the appropriate level of reduction obligation and the need for clear and consistent policies to support the transition to sustainable fuels.

Higher fuel costs could break the banks of households in central and northern Sweden, where people live sparsely and across great geographical distances. It is not uncommon to learn that some northern residents drive long distances often hundreds of kilometres for everyday items, eg a dental check-up. The Sweden Democrats (SD), Sweden’s nationalist and right-wing populist political party, have campaigned for many years to have the reduction obligations reformed in order to benefit commuters and rural residents. 

DN Debatt, SvD Näringsliv, Di, Msn, SverigesRadio , Di, FB

Copenhagen aims to eliminate petrol and diesel cars by 2030, transitioning to hydrogen and electric vehicles

The Municipality of Copenhagen has agreed to work towards eliminating petrol and diesel cars from the city by 2030. All parties in the Citizens' Representation supported the proposal, which aims to transition to hydrogen and electric vehicles. The decision was made to encourage development and address environmental concerns. The administration will conduct investigations on practical matters such as establishing charging stations and potential collaboration with Frederiksberg Municipality. The details of the transition, including whether it will be city-wide or limited to certain areas, will be determined based on the results of these studies. The support of the Danish Parliament is also necessary to enforce "zero-emission zones" where only vehicles without internal combustion engines are allowed. The urban development spokesman emphasises the need for practical considerations and a potential transition period for citizens. The industry organisation representing car manufacturers in Denmark sees the move as a timely response to the future dominance of zero-emission vehicles, particularly electric cars.

Information, Msn

Nilar secures major deal with for ReOx® batteries worth SEK 110 million

Swedish energy storage company Nilar has secured a significant offtake agreement with Indutecc Renewable Solutions, a manufacturer of electrical systems and automation solutions. The agreement entails an order of SEK 110 million for Nilar's ReOx® batteries, marking the largest agreement in Nilar's history. This collaboration is an expansion of their joint development project, aiming to integrate Nilar's batteries into Indutecc's energy storage solution for the commercial real estate market segment. The batteries are set to be delivered from March 2024 onward. 

Press Release

NKT invests in new cable tower in Karlskrona factory in Sweden

​​NKT, a Danish high-voltage cable manufacturer, is making a significant investment in its Karlskrona factory, including the construction of a new cable tower. The company expects this investment to result in the creation of more than 500 new jobs at the factory. With the growing demand for high-voltage cables driven by the global shift towards renewable energy, NKT aims to secure its position as a player in the market and expand its capacity to undertake more projects for both new and existing customers. The investment is scheduled to be operational from 2027, and it reflects NKT's commitment to supporting Sweden's cable technology sector and local job growth.


Volvo Trucks successfully tests hydrogen-powered electric trucks on public roads

Volvo Trucks has achieved a significant milestone by conducting successful test drives of hydrogen-powered fuel cell trucks on public roads. These trucks, which emit only water vapour and generate their own electricity using hydrogen, have a long range, making them suitable for longer transport missions. The tests took place in the challenging conditions of Kiruna, Sweden, with ice, wind and snow, providing an ideal environment for evaluation. Volvo Trucks plans to offer fuel cell electric trucks in the second half of this decade and has partnered with Daimler to develop fuel cell systems for heavy vehicles. In the meantime, Volvo Trucks already provides a wide range of battery electric models and trucks running on renewable fuels to help reduce CO2 emissions. The hydrogen-powered fuel cell trucks will utilise green hydrogen produced from renewable energy sources.

Press Release

European Commission approves Swedish scheme to support companies in southern Sweden amid Russia-Ukraine conflict

The European Commission has approved a EUR 2.6 billion Swedish scheme to support companies active in southern Sweden in the context of Russia's war against Ukraine as part of the bloc’s State aid Temporary Crisis and Transition Framework that eases subsidy rules in the name of energy security. The scheme will provide grants to companies of all sizes and sectors active in southern Sweden, with the exception of financial companies.

Press Release

Finland has most heat pumps per 1,000 households in Europe

Finland has become the frontrunner in heat pump adoption in Europe relative to the number of households, with a total of 1.45 million heat pumps installed, according to preliminary statistics from the European Heat Pump Association. The popularity of heat pumps in Finland can be attributed to factors such as affordable electricity, demanding weather conditions and a minimal reliance on gas for heating. Finnish consumers prioritise sustainable products and are willing to invest in high-quality heat pumps to reduce heating costs. The trend is expected to continue, driven by increased demand for heat pumps throughout Europe as the continent aims to transition away from fossil fuels and embrace renewable energy sources. However, availability of heat pumps may become a challenge due to insufficient manufacturing capacity and shortages of critical components.

Press Release

ABB teams up with Lhyfe and Skyborn Renewables to establish large-scale renewable hydrogen production facility in Sweden

ABB has joined forces with Lhyfe and Skyborn Renewables to establish a large-scale renewable hydrogen production facility called SoutH2port in Söderhamn, Sweden. The plant will be powered by electricity from Skyborn's planned offshore wind farm, Storgrundet, and is expected to produce approximately 240 tonnes of hydrogen gas per day. ABB will contribute its expertise in optimising hydrogen and electricity production, with a focus on electrofuels as potential end products. The collaboration aims to explore Power-to-X techniques, converting renewable electricity into carbon dioxide-neutral energy carriers, such as hydrogen. 

Press Release, EnergiNyheter, NordiskaProjekt

Call for researchers: funding of SEK 60 Million available for non-toxic cycles and offshore wind power studies

The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency and the Sea and Water Authority are inviting researchers to apply for up to SEK 60 million in funding for research projects related to non-toxic cycles and offshore wind power. The funding will be allocated to projects that explore the sources of dangerous substances and their distribution routes in nature's cycle, as well as how the expansion of offshore wind power can coexist with commercial fishing, outdoor and animal life, and nature conservation. Each project may apply for a maximum of SEK 5 million over three years, from 2024 to 2027.

SvD, Di

The International Energy Agency praises Finland's success in energy policy

A recent report of the International Energy Agency (IEA) has concluded that Finland pursues a successful energy policy. The IEA publishes reports about its member countries approximately every five years and last evaluated Finland's energy policy in 2018. According to the just-published report, Finland has made commendable progress in its carbon neutrality goals and Finland's emission targets are the most ambitious in the world. The Olkiluoto 3 reactor, which started commercial production in April, is mentioned as a significant factor in Finland's energy supply. The growth of wind power production in Finland is also praised. 

According to the IEA, Finland has been exemplary in securing its energy supply after Russia's gas supplies ended. Based on the report, Finland is one of the IEA countries least dependent on fossil energy. In 2021, fossil fuels accounted for 35% of Finland's energy use. On average, the share of fossil energy in the IEA countries is 70%. 

The report also provides some recommendations to Finland for the future. Finland should work on promoting the electrification of society, vehicles and traffic, increase flexibility in the electricity market, increase energy storage and promote the acquisition of minerals needed in the manufacture of batteries. The IEA also encourages Finland to speed up the introduction of further wind and solar energy.

Press Release, yle, Helsingin Sanomat

DS Stålprofil and SSAB partner to deliver fossil-free steel for sustainable construction

Steel profile manufacturer DS Stålprofil and SSAB have announced a partnership to deliver fossil-free steel for the construction industry starting in 2026. DS Stålprofil will incorporate SSAB's fossil-free steel into its roof and facade products, enhancing its position as a sustainable solution provider. The collaboration supports SSAB's goal of contributing to a fossil-free value chain and enables the construction industry to meet CO2 reduction targets. 

Press Release, Altomteknik

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About Nordic Green News

The Nordic countries are some of the most dynamic and successful economies in the world. They are also leaders in sustainability, from renewable energy, biofuels, carbon capture and storage and the hydrogen economy, circular economy business models and battery development, the Nordics are pioneers in policy design, technology development and consumer uptake. Mundus Nordic Green News is covering this transition for the international community. Every day we curate the stories of most relevance to international businesspeople and policy experts from the flow of news. Mundus Nordic Green Indices summarise the meta-data from our daily coverage to enable easy tracking of trends. We supplement these with our own opinion pieces and commentary.