ForTheDoers Blog

Greetings from the heart of the green transition

Juha Sainio 13 June 2023, 12:34 EEST

In the public debate, the term ‘green transition’ sounds like a rather generic, distant and even divisive series of events in a time towards which we are heading. Contrary to what many might think, the green transition is already here.

industrial power plant

With this article, I send you greetings from the heart of the action. All in all, change is extremely exciting, enriching and inspiring, and that’s why I want to share a few key things with you about the ongoing transformation and Fortum’s new direction.

Customers are at the heart of our new strategy

I joined Fortum’s sales team a couple of years ago when we started building the sales functions of our Trading organisation. In my current role, I am responsible for our customer relations with the energy-intensive industry in Finland. Naturally, it has been obvious to me already from the beginning that we do this work for our customers and we develop our activities based on their needs. I am therefore more than excited that our new strategy is based on these fundamental ideas.

Fortum’s new strategy is built on three priorities: 1) we deliver reliable clean energy, 2) we drive decarbonisation in industries, and 3) we transform and develop. In addition, our focus is shifting more towards the Nordic countries. Our journey has already started, but now we are putting even more effort into it. In light of these changes and our new strategy, I am also interested in hearing what you, as our current or future customer, expect from us.

Unprecedented transformation of the electricity system

In practice, the decarbonisation of societies and industry means an extensive electrification effort. When I talk with my customers or brainstorm with my colleagues, it’s about more than just conventional industrial emission reductions, it’s also about large-scale, innovative projects never seen before. Example of such include the production of zero-emission green steel, new large data centres with waste heat utilisation, or further processing of carbon dioxide and heat recovery with Fortum’s hydrogen and heating teams.

The forecast here outlined by Fortum’s market analysis illustrates the growth of electricity demand (TWh/year) in the Nordic countries over the coming decades. One industrial electrification project in northern Sweden could alone require as much new electricity generation as the entire country of Finland currently consumes. Therefore, this fundamental change can be considered as a kind of industrial revolution or leap in development that will put unprecedented pressure on both electricity generation and distribution.



Supply of affordable, clean and secure electricity expected

Depending on the industry and the applicable regulation, our customers have different expectations regarding e.g. the origin of purchased electricity. However, it is clear that the future electricity system will be based on clean, emission-free generation. Despite the unprecedented pressure on it today, it is also essential to maintain the reliable and stable Nordic electricity system. The Finnish transmission system operator Fingrid, for example, currently has around a hundred different projects underway to improve the national grid.

Finally, affordable electricity is in the interest of all players. The profitability of many projects creating new demand for electricity may be based on market prices before the energy crisis that started last year. However, the market is currently recovering from last winter's volatility, and uncertainty about the future still remains. We at Fortum are doing everything we can to ensure that future electricity supply and demand are in reasonable balance and meeting all kinds of needs – in terms of price, availability and quality.

Juha Sainio

juha [dot] sainio [at] fortum [dot] com

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