Northvolt - the future of battery storage

Skellefteå is home to Northvolt, who are building Europe's largest battery factory there. When production starts in 2021, the plant will manufacture lithium-ion batteries for electric cars and energy storage – important pieces of the puzzle in addressing climate change and converting to a more sustainable global economy. 

Northvolt was founded on the need for a more sustainable alternative to fossil fuels. Battery storage has a crucial role, not least because it is possible to use the energy when it is needed and not just when it is produced.

– Electric cars and the automotive industry are just one of many areas where batteries can contribute to a better climate. The energy storage area is still largely unexplored, says Katarina Borstedt, Director of Growth.
For Northvolt, investing in northern Sweden came down to three decisive factors. One of them is about the availability of green energy.
– Production of batteries is resource intensive, as much as 80 times the capacity of the battery is used to produce it. Unless we have green energy in our production, we will have a large environmental debt right from the start. With its renewable and affordable energy, Northern Sweden is very attractive.The second factor is about available land. An area of over 500 000 square meters is required for Northvolt to establish its factory.
– That kind of area is not to be found everywhere, but Skellefteå has enormous potential for large industries.
Last but not least, Northvolt was looking for a positive mentality in its selected site. This was a perfect fit for Skellefteå, which has proven to be the partner Northvolt needed to complete the construction of its new battery factory.– The investment we are making is not only important for business, it also contributes to a major change in society. The entire city, both in terms of society as well as physical infrastructure will grow significantly. As a result, our business requires a municipality that is open to new thinking and possibilities.Right now, access to expertise is one of the major challenges for Northvolt to scale up. Nearly 3 000 employees will be hired during the upcoming years.
– We need to ensure that the education system quickly adapts to achieve the levels of technical competence that we require. We also need to make it easier to get to Skellefteå in an environmentally friendly way. Demo North was important to understand all the exciting things that are happening in Northern Sweden which we are very proud to be part of, says Katarina Borstedt.Jörgen Eriksson, CEO at Invest in Norrbotten says that there is great interest from other suppliers and manufacturers from the battery sector who are also looking to locate their electricity-intensive production in Northern Sweden.- Norrbotten is one of the few areas in the world that offers 100% renewable energy around the clock, coupled with the most attractive electricity tariffs in Europe. That is why other companies are looking to join Northvolt and invest in sustainable production here, as they simultaneously lower their costs and their CO2 emissions.   We are seeing a “Nordic Battery Cluster” emerge where all the conditions – renewable energy, raw materials etc,  exist to create an entirely green supply chain for battery production in Europe. And this new business thinking is taking place not just in the battery sector – as seen in the Demo North Summit, energy intensive industries looking for solutions are discovering that Northern Sweden is the place for sustainable business and investment.Northvolt was one of the keynote speakers at Demo North Summit, 26-28/2 2020. The event was an activity within the project “Demo North”, owned by Invest in Norrbotten and financed by The Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth, the County Council of Norrbotten and Sparbanken Nord.

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