The race to net zero emissions is speeding up with short- and long-term goals required to transform industry from the ground up to support sustainable production, construction, and manufacturing. In 2016, Swedish companies Vattenfall, SSAB, and LKAB formed a joint venture, HYBRIT Development, with the objective of creating a completely fossil-free steel making process by 2035. This investment in Hydrogen Breakthrough Ironmaking Technology (HYBRIT) has paid dividends, with the first fossil-free steel rolling off the production line in August 2020 and a whole industry scale-up on track to meet the 2035 target.

Collaborative partnerships are crucial to innovation and the smart approach of mineral and mining company LKAB, energy company Vattenfall, and steel manufacturer SSAB joining forces and expertise has put Sweden’s hydrogen ecosystem on the global stage. Industry’s growing demand for sustainable materials means more actors are needed to scale-up production as well as innovate further.

Business Sweden’s Hydrogen programme is facilitating sector growth by establishing partnerships with key public, regional, and leading private stakeholders to market Swedish capabilities and leadership in key areas across the value chain. The programme identifies opportunities within both the Swedish and international hydrogen sector, as well as prioritising Swedish technology, application, and experience towards critical global hydrogen activities including forums, IPCEI projects, and fairs.

Industry’s growing demand for sustainable materials means more actors are needed to scale-up production as well as innovate further. Robin Pettersson
Programme Manager Business Ecosystem - Smart Energy
Hydrogen a cross-sector energy source

While the hydrogen value chain, and the innovation and solutions that are required at each stage have made a huge impact in a relatively short time, the growing demand means there is still plenty of scope for Swedish solutions and global investment and expertise to come together to dramatically influence the sector as it expands. The production of clean energy alone needs investment in energy generation, power transmission, electrolysis, fuel cell and storage, and pipeline and distribution.

Sweden’s starting point with abundant green electricity and water, low electricity prices, and a thriving hydrogen ecosystem with public and private alliances, partnerships, and collaborations is driving both trade and investment opportunities – that are all aimed at reaching the short-term carbon emission goals; and with a long-term eye on the urgent and non-negotiable net zero target.

A global approach will deliver results

The global boom in hydrogen development means activities in countries including South Korea, Finland, Norway, and the UK are already being ramped up. The EU Hydrogen strategy released in July 2020 is propelling major investments in Europe, and several countries have national strategies for hydrogen development which will all require global stakeholders to regionalise and deliver solutions for specific markets and objectives.

With joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions, and partnerships redefining the hydrogen ecosystem landscape, Sweden has laid a solid foundation for leading the global shift to sustainable energy production.

Contact us to find out more about Business Sweden’s hydrogen programme and how your company can influence both the global and Swedish hydrogen development.