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RISE welcomes KTH Energy Platform, open for new collaborations

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Published Jun 22, 2021

In June, KTH Energy Platform made a digital visit to RISE, where a thorough overview was provided into the institute’s energy-related activities, and with participants finding multiple new collaboration opportunities.

RISE (Research Institutes of Sweden) is Sweden’s research institute and innovation partner. In international collaboration with companies, academia and the public sector, the institute contributes to a competitive business climate and a sustainable society.

As the RISE visit was digital, this meant that a larger number of people from the institute could participate. See the fact box below for more details about the participants. The visit was attended by Energy Platform management, a reference group with representatives from KTH’s five different colleges and a representative from the KTH Research Office with special responsibility for the energy competence hub.

Energy Platform director, Lina Bertling Tjernberg, started the visit with a description of the facility’s activities and goals. Recent events included a larger workshop that was held at the beginning of the year , during which energy researchers from across the country shared concrete ideas and proposals about Sweden’s electrification strategy. The strategy was initiated by the government and will be completed in the autumn.

As she wrapped up her presentation, Bertling Tjernberg told participants about KTH Energy Dialogue , which this year will be held on November 18th. This is an annual conference at which academics in collaboration with industry and decision-makers address challenges and consider visions for the sustainable transformation of urban energy systems.

RISE: an overview

Markus Norström from RISE then gave an overview of the research institute, which is managed and owned by Sweden’s Ministry of Trade and Industry. The purpose is to strengthen the competitiveness and renewal of the business community and to contribute to the renewal of the public sector.

RISE acts as Sweden’s overarching technical research and innovation institute and has several roles in the country’s innovation structures to facilitate the sustainable transformation of society. Activities are undertaken on a long-term basis with the goal of building the knowledge, skills and lab resources needed in the near future.

Norström described RISE as the result of a merger of a large number of Swedish research institutes in an effort to provide the critical mass required to achieve shared goals. RISE CEO, Pia Sandvik, is also chairman of KTH.

The institute has five divisions Bioeconomy and Health, Digital Systems, Materials and Production, Built Environment, and Safety and Transport. These are then brought together in the business and innovation areas of Digitalisation, Energy and Bio-based Economics, Sustainable Cities and Communities, Health and Life Science, Materials Conversion, and Mobility. The institute runs a number of test and demonstration environments in which prototypes of products and processes can be tested prior to launch.

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On energy, RISE is working in a number of areas including acceleration of industrial transformation of core industries, such as cement, steel, plastics, and chemicals –all sectors that need to achieve zero emissions by 2045.

The fossil-free transport focus area includes the construction of the Swedish Electric Transport Laboratory (SEEL), which will test electrified drivelines for the automotive industry, as well as a safety lab for batteries. The area houses several centres for the conversion of biomass, as well as a number of pilot plants across the country.

“Further efforts on carbon dioxide and electrochemistry are now also planned to create a cutting-edge technology for capturing and using carbon dioxide (CCU),” Norström said.

RISE’s Energy Systems of the Future focus area brings together future challenges associated with restructuring the energy system, including distribution, flexibility, and storage, as well as the production of renewables and new market models. This also includes a number of initiatives to facilitate ongoing digitalisation and ensure cyber security.

Norström concluded by briefly talking about the Energy Systems in the Built Environment business and innovation area which focuses on energy-efficient and energy-producing buildings. This includes everything from cooling, district heating, and heat pumps to system integration.

Robust energy systems

Caroline Haglund Stignor from RISE then introduced the Robust and Flexible Energy Systems focus area. Issues addressed include Sweden’s growing need for electricity with extra focus on the growth of wind power. When an energy system is integrated, everything from transport to buildings, at the same time as new energy sources are created, there is a need for a greater co-ordination between sectors. It is in this space that RISE is active in connecting areas where digitalisation has a key role to play, Haglund Stignor said.

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Digitalisation is crucial when for energy efficiency and power optimisation at the systems level, she emphasized, and enables flexibility that has not previously existed.

Different sectors, such as industry, construction, and transport, need to be linked to enable the most efficient use of energy. The focus here is also on various forms of energy storage, such as hydrogen and heat.

Furthermore, she believed that thermal networks are likely to have lower temperatures in future and provide access to more actors. This may pave the way for additional flexibility in the energy system.

Finally, Haglund Stignor said that the ongoing expansion of the electricity grid and its system services is an important area for RISE. There is already an existing collaboration with KTH, at the same time as further collaboration is welcomed – especially in the form of investment in new testbeds, pilot schemes, and additional training initiatives.

New business models for the energy sector

Magnus Bodin then presented the RISE Energy Economics Lab initiative, which gathers various different threads of the institute’s competencies to create synergies across segments.

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The structure of the energy market and new emerging business models are attracting increasing interest throughout the energy sector, Bodin said. This is a space where RISE initiates and runs several research projects. Within the lab, there are good competences in energy systems, electric power, market design, grid regulation, policy evaluation, as well as specific regulatory knowledge.

Various actors’ future scenarios are used extensively, often in a broken down and adapted forms. For example, system-wide scenarios can be broken down to increase understanding of changes in individual regions or cities.

The digital visit rounded off with seminar participants doing a workshop with the aim of finding new opportunities for co-operation and collaboration. Immediate results from the workshop included several new ideas for collaboration, including solar power and integration into the electricity grid, as well as digitalisation. Even today’s and future competence centres may form a basis for collaboration with a focus on how new technology solutions to create flexibility in the electricity grid.

Visit participants

During KTH Energy Platform’s visit to RISE, the following people joined the digital meeting.

RISE

Magnus Brolin, Electricity Systems director. Brolin has more than 15 years of experience of research and project development and co-ordination in the electricity market area, where he has worked with issues concerning electricity trading and market design.

Caroline Haglund Stignor, Strategic Research Leader Flexible and Robust Energy Systems. Caroline heads a unit that works with research and innovation related to sustainable energy systems, including heat pump technology, solar energy, ventilation technology, air treatment, air purification, calibration, environmental resistance, combustion, aerosol technology, and behaviour and experiences related to energy use. She also works actively at the Heat Pump Centre, run by RISE, and the programme office communication centre for the IEA’s international heat pump technology project.

Annika Karlsson, energy conversion unit. Annika’s work focuses on batteries, hydrogen cells, electrolysis, and hydrogen safety in the transport sector.

Jeanette Peterson, project manager at the Energy Technology Centre. Acting focus area manager for industrial conversion at RISE.

Johan Sandstedt, research and business developer. Johan has a background in the power generation sector, primarily production industry and manufacturing. Works with energy conversion with a focus on electrification and hydrogen production.

Jonas Bergkvist, specialist in Energy System of the Future. Jonas works to a large extent with business development, often with start-up companies in the energy field. Engaged in Danske Bank’s platform for purpose-driven start-ups + impact.

Markus Norström, Business and Innovation Manager for Energy-based Economy. Markus has a broad role in business development and operations development in the energy area for the entire group. He ensures his activities are co-ordinated around a strategic agenda.

Monica Axell, research and business developer, with many years of experience in RISE in many different positions and subjects. Monica is involved in international co-operation within the EU, Mission Innovation, and the IEA and leads the IEA Heat Pump Centre.

Stefan Ivarsson, unit manager for renewable energy from wind and sea. Key focus areas include mechanical structures, lifetime calculations, lifecycle analyses, LCOE analyses, energy calculations, wind measurements, load calculations and strength calculations. In addition, the project looks at how renewable energy interacts with other types of energy, battery storage, the electricity grid, and energy systems. The group collaborates within and operates networks and clusters such as Offshore Väst, Ocean Energy Sweden, and the Innovation Centre for Floating Wind Power.

KTH Energy Platform

Lina Bertling Tjernberg, professor of electricity grids and director of the KTH Energy Platform.

Christofer Duwig, senior lecturer and deputy director.

Björn Laumert, Professor of Energy Technology, ITM School representative

Carlo Fischione Professor of Internet of Things, EECS School representative

Kerstin Forsberg, senior lecturer in chemical engineering, representative of CBH

Pernilla Hagbert, researcher in sustainable change, representative of the School of Architecture and the Built Environment

Pierre Bodin, research advisor for strategic initiatives, KTH Research Office.

Text by: Magnus Trogen Pahlén.