The road to electrification is within reach. An important step towards net zero carbon emissions. Many new technologies can help us both to use energy smarter and increase energy efficiency to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees. Magnus Lindén, energy expert at Sweco, tells us more about all the innovations he and his teams are currently working on.
“Today, there are ready-made technical solutions to electrify our entire society,” states Magnus Lindén, energy expert at Sweco.
Intermittence, that is to say that electricity production with renewable solutions only works when the weather allows, is no longer an insurmountable problem either, according to Magnus Lindén. “There are new promising technologies in place for energy-storage solutions such as hydrogen, which can store huge amounts of energy, as well as the development of technologies to store energy in salt and the rebirth of stirling engines, which still need some more time but are also promising. Energy innovation is skyrocketing!” he proclaims.
Although development in renewable energy and electrification is progressing rapidly, there is more to be done to accelerate emissions reductions. “Using energy smarter is one of the most important measures that must be taken from a climate point of view. Here, too, we have very well-developed technologies for reusing energy, for example, heat pump solutions. Just the utilisation of different energy carriers for heat and electrical power is a winning combination.”
Electrical production with renewables as well as using electrical power is happening here and now.
“Using energy to heat or cool is a different story. It’s possible to pre-heat or pre-cool a building, for example, and use thermal inertia to cover the ups and downs in renewable production. There are successful companies that can control your heat pump or car charging remotely,” says Magnus Lindén.
All the energy that you put into an industrial process is not used. There is always energy left over in the form of hot water or hot air. If we can use it to heat our cities, we will save energy at the other end. Of course, even better than reusing energy is not consuming it at all.
“Efficiency is still the very best thing you can do, such as not wasting as much energy to heat your house or your industrial process. Technology has also come a long way in that sense. But then, it is also about behavior, where we all can do more if we become more aware.”
Here, Sweco has a mission to transform society together. “In all the projects that we work on, we must, of course, deliver what the customer asks for, but we also feel that we have an obligation to always point out the alternatives that exist to allow the customer to become more energy efficient and even more climate-smart.”