According to Sky News, Sweden’s energy minister said that Sweden’s green innovation and energy independence should be a “good selling point”, as it seeks membership in NATO’s security alliance.
Khashayar Farmanbar said that he was also concerned about the dependence of Europe on Russian oil, gas, and that Sweden was setting an example.
Sky News interviewed him at a green steel plant in Lulea, north of the country. He said that “compared to a lot other NATO countries… I would argue that we are the most energy secure.”
“The green transition creates many new jobs, energy security, and it honestly saves the planet for future humankind.
“And that, in itself, I believe is a very strong selling point for Sweden applying to NATO.”
When asked if Europe could learn anything from Sweden’s almost complete decarbonization of its electricity production using a mix of hydropower and nuclear, he responded: “Definitely. I would say…we are here to collaborate and make sure that happens.”
“Europe and the entire world need to stop using fossil fuels.
“This job must be done at a fast pace.
“What Russia’s aggression against Ukraine has demonstrated is that we must accelerate this process. If there is one thing Sweden can do, it is to show the way and lead by example how we can become less dependent on fossil fuel, but especially on Russia’s energy imports.
He also criticized the UK’s decision not to grant new licenses to extract fossil fuels from the North Sea.
He stated, “I can see how some countries would like to do that in the near term.”
“Because right at the moment… getting rid Russian fossil imports might prove difficult. However, this is not the right way to go long-term.
Sky News interviewed Mr Farmanbar at a first-of-its kind green hydrogen storage facility. Here, reserves of the pressure-sensitized gas are stored in a sealed underground cavern.
This facility is part what is called the HYBRIT Green Steel Project, a collaboration between SSAB, the LKAB mine company, and Vattenfall Energy company.
It is notoriously difficult to decarbonize steel manufacturing because of the carbon emissions and coal burning involved in its production.
Steel is also an important material in the modern world. It’s used in everything, from homes, bridges and schools to cars, turbines and automobiles.
Because of its widespread use, nearly 8% global carbon emissions are attributed to the steel industry.
The HYBRIT Project has found a way to replace coal with green hydrogen. This eliminates the worst parts of the process.
Mikael Nordlander is the director of industry carbonisation at HYBRIT. He said that “When we began doing this in 2016, it was in some instances perceived as a crazy idea, but now, six year later, we have come tremendously far.”
It actually works.
Although small batches of green steel were used in Volvo’s construction vehicles, it is a new technology that won’t become commercially viable for many years.
It’s also 20-30% more costly to make than traditional iron, but costs will drop as production increases.
Kerstin Enochsson, head of procurement at Volvo Cars, is optimistic that customers will pay a green premium and oversees a plan to make all company vehicles out of green steel.
Sky News spoke to her at Gothenburg’s production plant floor. She said: “Maybe it’s a bit more costly, but we also see that C02 can be a cost.”
“I am certain that our customers will continue to demand products made from fossil-free materials.” This is our best bet.
Martin Pei, chief technology officer at SSAB, stated that he believes this is the best way to build steel.
“And we want the market to show the way, and our customers will initially be willing to pay a little premium to make it happen. That will be good news for everyone.”
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