31 / 08 / 2023

Energy cooperation and sustainable transport are more important than ever before

On Friday August 11th the second part of the Kvarken Council’s event during Wasa Future Festival was held. The topics during the event consisted of energy cooperation and sustainable transport in the Kvarken region.

The morning started with a short summary by moderator Sarah Väre and Mathias Lindström, the Kvarken Council’s Director, of what was said during the event on the day before. The theme for Friday’s event was co-ordination in the Nordics – additional aspects that affect crisis preparedness and accessibility.  

The key speaker on Friday was Viktor Salenius, PhD candidate at the Saïd Business School at University of Oxford. He talked on the subject that cross-border cooperation in the region is not only desirable but necessary in a sustainable transition to green energy production. Read more about Viktor’s presentation HERE. 

Maria Jalvemo, Program Manager at Svenska Kraftnät, said that almost all people working with market forecasts in the electricity business see that we would need one more Sweden when talking about electricity consumption. 

– We can almost see a triple need for electricity from the different industrial sectors in Sweden, Jalvemo said.  

She pointed out that Northern Sweden is a big producer of electricity for the rest of Sweden. Northern Sweden transport at lot of electricity from North to South.  

– But already around 2027 we will reach the pivoting point, where Northern Sweden will need to import electricity. 

Bothnia Green Energy project boosts cooperation in the energy field

Peter Hedman, Project Leader for Bothnia Green Energy and CEO of Regionakademien talked about the importance of cooperation in the energy field and presented the Bothnia Green Energy project.  

Bothnia Green Energy is a project that supports the development of sustainable energy solutions. Something completely new is that the project collaborates to build innovative networks and ecosystems around the region’s energy companies. 

– Energy cooperation and sustainable energy solutions are more important than ever before, Hedman pointed out. 

The energy companies in the region strive for even more cooperation

Then it was time for Friday’s first panel discussion. The theme for the panel discussion was energy cooperation in the Kvarken region. The participants consisted of Maria Jalvemo, Ann-Christine Schmidt, Head of R&D at Skellefteå Kraft, Victor Wistbacka, Development Manager, Herrfors, and Anders Ahnlid, Director General at Kommerskollegium. 

Jalvemo explained that Svenska Kraftnät already work very closely with the regional operators, such as Skellefteå Kraft, but that even more cooperation is needed.  

– Since energy and electricity is becoming a scarce resource and when we look at new technological solutions, we need to use all the different forms or sources of energy and electricity in the most efficient way. To be able to find the most efficient way of using the energy we need to work more closely together because otherwise we waste it, Jalvemo explained.  

Ann-Christine Schmidt said that the energy companies’ cooperation is very important.  

– We can learn from each other, both as people and as companies. We also share common challenges. I think that the Bothnia Green Energy project is a good way to start the energy cooperation in the Kvarken region, Schmidt pointed out. 

– By bringing interesting people together, you get interesting ideas, Victor Wistbacka continued. 

Anders Ahnlid pointed out that cooperation is always needed. He said that there’s a need for better regulations of the energy market in the EU. But the framework conditions for the trade of other sources, in other products, goods and services, will be the key for the development of the energy companies as well.  

– We have a huge increasing demand in front of us in terms of electricity use. To be able to do this together for the green transition, which is a global problem, efficient markets are a key condition, Ahnlid said. 

Sustainable transport will boost regional development

The subject for the second part of Friday’s program was sustainable transport in the Kvarken region. Isak Brändström, Project Leader for FAIR 2 and Infrastructure Strategist at Tyréns, held a short presentation of what was done in the FAIR project, that focused on an early implementation of electric aviation.  

Brändström also briefly introduced the new projects that the Kvarken Council will take part in the upcoming years, which are New North and FAIR 2. FAIR 2 is a continuation of the FAIR project. The aim is to increase the understanding of the demand for sustainable regional aviation. The New North project aims to analyse transport systems in the northern parts of the Nordic countries considering the changed geopolitical situation. 

Sustainable transport was also the theme for the second panel discussion on Friday. The panel consisted of Peter Källberg, Project Manager within tourism at VASEK, Elisabet Kivimäki, Key Account Manager at Into Seinäjoki, Niklas Andersson, Infrastructure Strategist at Sundsvall Municipality, and Stig-Göran Forsman, CEO of Kokkola-Pietarsaari Airport.  

Källberg believed that electric aviation will make traveling easier. 

– I think we will see an increase in passengers traveling by air. It will ease the way of traveling; it will shorten the travel times. 

Electric aviation will be just one part of sustainable transport. Already today there’s different kinds of sustainable fuels. Drones are also already a reality. 

– You can do a lot of things with drones. A lot of companies are already using drones for different purposes, for example lifting solar panels. In Seinäjoki we have put a lot of focus on drone logistics, Elisabet Kivimäki explained. 

– I think that regulation will become the most important thing in the future. We need to start with 3D city planning because the big challenge is the lower airspace where these aircrafts will fly. We don’t have a regulation regarding that, Niklas Andersson explained.

Stig-Göran Forsman argued that sustainable aviation will enable small airports to continue their operations. 

– We have smaller airplanes, and the costs are not that huge. In this way we will get new companies who’re interested in investing in the airports, Forsman said. 

– It gives hope to small airports because currently it’s not feasible to operate certain routes with the current aircrafts. We will get new routes that can be operated from our airports. It will boost the regional development as well as increase business opportunities and tourism. It’s a very positive development from our point of view, Kivimäki continued. 

Mathias Lindström concluded the event by demanding everyone to act.

– Nothing happens if you don’t act. Those who act are persons who are interested in developing the region. That is us sitting here today. We all have a responsibility to start doing things to create a better region for the future.

Download Maria Jalvemo’s presentation HERE
Download Peter Hedman’s presentation HERE
Download Isak Brändström’s presentation HERE
Watch the streaming HERE
Read the other texts about Wasa Future Festival HERE, HERE and HERE
Read more about the Bothnia Green Energy project HERE
Read more about the FAIR project HERE
Read more about FAIR 2 and New North projects HERE






Maria Jalvemo pointed out that we can almost see a triple need for electricity from the different industrial sectors in Sweden.

Anders Ahnlid said that efficient markets are a key condition, in terms of the increasing demand of electricity use.

Peter Hedman presented the Bothnia Green Energy project at Wasa Future Festival.

Isak Brändström presented the new projects called FAIR 2 and New North.

Peter Källberg said that electric aviation will ease the way of traveling in the future.