A futuristic-looking boat seemingly flying above the surface of the water.
A flying ship? Photo: Viggo Lundberg/Candela

Swedish companies take on the green transition

Sweden is contributing to the green and digital transition. Here are some examples how.

Sweden's innovative landscape is vast and vibrant, with many Swedish companies contributing. This is due to factors such as financial support for startups and general openness towards creative solutions.

But perhaps most importantly, Sweden is known for planning for the long term, analysing possible future scenarios, and thinking ahead. This is why many Swedish companies are making a name for themselves in industries that are set to grow in the coming years, among them energy, AI, transport, food and construction.

SWEDISH COMPANIES AND THE RENEWABLE ENERGY CHALLENGE

Sweden is a world-leading country when it comes to green energy, with around 98 per cent fossil-free electricity production. More than 70 per cent of that comes from renewable sources, the rest from nuclear power.

The government’s target is 100 per cent fossil-free electricity production by 2040.

Many Swedish companies are a part of the efforts to make Sweden’s energy greener.

A large, yellow, buoy-shaped object in the water, with a person standing on a platform on its left.

In 2023 CorPower Ocean installed its first commercial-scale wave energy converter in northern Portugal. Photo: Corpower Ocean

A giant buoy-shaped object lying on a quay with a group of people standing in front of it.

The CorPower C4 before the team launched it into the sea outside Portugal. Photo: Corpower Ocean

A tanker out on the ocean.

Liquid Wind believes that electrofuel is the way to make the global shipping industry fossil-free. Archive photo: Sofia Sabel/imagebank.sweden.se

A large, yellow, buoy-shaped object in the water, with a person standing on a platform on its left.

In 2023 CorPower Ocean installed its first commercial-scale wave energy converter in northern Portugal. Photo: Corpower Ocean

A giant buoy-shaped object lying on a quay with a group of people standing in front of it.

The CorPower C4 before the team launched it into the sea outside Portugal. Photo: Corpower Ocean

A tanker out on the ocean.

Liquid Wind believes that electrofuel is the way to make the global shipping industry fossil-free. Archive photo: Sofia Sabel/imagebank.sweden.se

A large, yellow, buoy-shaped object in the water, with a person standing on a platform on its left.

In 2023 CorPower Ocean installed its first commercial-scale wave energy converter in northern Portugal. Photo: Corpower Ocean

A giant buoy-shaped object lying on a quay with a group of people standing in front of it.

The CorPower C4 before the team launched it into the sea outside Portugal. Photo: Corpower Ocean

A tanker out on the ocean.

Liquid Wind believes that electrofuel is the way to make the global shipping industry fossil-free. Archive photo: Sofia Sabel/imagebank.sweden.se

CorPower Ocean

Inspired by the pumping principle of the human heart, CorPower Ocean has adapted wave energy technology and 40 years of hydrodynamic research to develop an innovative wave energy converter. This device delivers more than five times as much electricity per tonne of equipment compared with previous state-of-the-art in wave energy.

The wave energy converter is a lightweight and low-cost tool that maximises electricity generation while providing robust operation in the harshest ocean conditions.

Minesto – another way to harvest the power of the ocean

Liquid Wind

Liquid Wind  is a developer of sustainable electrofuel, eFuel, that helps reduce the world’s dependency on fossil fuels. 

The company produces eMethanol, which is a liquid synthetic fuel made from renewable energy and carbon dioxide (CO2).

The chemical process of converting renewable energy and biogenic CO2 into eFuel is complex, to say the least. The long and the short of it is that this fuel has a high energy density, i.e. contains more energy per volume. It is also liquid at ambient temperature and pressure, which means that it is easy to store, transport and distribute. 

Finally, eFuel can be produced at scale to meet the growing demand for fossil-free fuel alternatives. 

SWEDEN'S TAKE ON ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

Artificial intelligence is a vast field, and possibly dominates the media buzz when it comes to talking about the future. Setting aside the scenarios in films like Terminator and The Matrix (we can worry about AI taking over later), the various applications of AI are a wonder to delve in.

Results include advancements such as the world's first above-the-elbow bionic arms developed by Chalmers University researchers.

AI-powered prosthetic limbs

Elekta

AI is already contributing to cancer care and treatment, especially in radiation therapy. But most oncology AI solutions lack real-time patient experience data, which can help predict treatment outcomes more accurately for individual patients.

Elekta have tried to fill that gap by developing a patient engagement solution that enables patients to report data in real time through an app. This leads to more peace of mind for both patients and oncologists, while it saves clinicians from having to manually document data. The machine learning algorithm can use these large data sets to make the predictions of therapy outcome more accurate.

Man sitting in front a computer screen by a a window.
Elekta uses real-time patient data to make radiation therapy more precise. Photo: Elekta

Einride

Einride is taking AI to the transport sector. The company was founded in 2016 with the goal of changing road freight for good, seeing that road freight accounts for 7 per cent of global CO2 emissions. Einride’s solution? Autonomous electric transport (AET).

The company pioneered a self-driving electric lorry on a Swedish public road in 2019 and became the first to operate an autonomous electric vehicle on US public roads in 2022.

Einride’s freight mobility platform uses data and AI to coordinate the transportation ecosystem. This means that an electric fleet of vehicles is run autonomously with remote oversight by human operators. 

A futuristic-looking white lorry on a road. Einride is one of the Swedish companies that want to contribute to the electrification of transport.

Einride was started as a dream in 2016 – a dream based on the idea that electrification and autonomy should be a part of the future. Photo: Einride

A person in front of a big screen.

Human operators oversee the autonomous Einride vehicles remotely. Photo: Einride

A drone shot of a white lorry on a road surroundes by woods.

Einride's autonomous vehicles are equipped with a range of precision-sensing technologies to ensure high safety on the roads.

A futuristic-looking white lorry on a road. Einride is one of the Swedish companies that want to contribute to the electrification of transport.

Einride was started as a dream in 2016 – a dream based on the idea that electrification and autonomy should be a part of the future. Photo: Einride

A person in front of a big screen.

Human operators oversee the autonomous Einride vehicles remotely. Photo: Einride

A drone shot of a white lorry on a road surroundes by woods.

Einride's autonomous vehicles are equipped with a range of precision-sensing technologies to ensure high safety on the roads.

A futuristic-looking white lorry on a road. Einride is one of the Swedish companies that want to contribute to the electrification of transport.

Einride was started as a dream in 2016 – a dream based on the idea that electrification and autonomy should be a part of the future. Photo: Einride

A person in front of a big screen.

Human operators oversee the autonomous Einride vehicles remotely. Photo: Einride

A drone shot of a white lorry on a road surroundes by woods.

Einride's autonomous vehicles are equipped with a range of precision-sensing technologies to ensure high safety on the roads.

SWEDISH COMPANIES ELECTRIFYING TRANSPORT

Sweden’s transport sector is currently working hard to leave fossil fuels behind and create smarter mobility for the future. 

By 2030, Sweden is expected to have 2.5 million rechargeable vehicles in traffic. At the same time, electricity consumption is expected to increase by 60 per cent till 2045.

With that being said, the race to electrify transport is not confined to the roads.

Candela

A standard 7.5-metre petrol boat consumes substantially more fuel than a family car. This is according to Candela, a Swedish company with the goal of speeding up the transition to fossil fuel-free lakes and oceans.

By rethinking efficiency in marine transportation, Candela has pushed the performance boundaries of electric vessels. The company has created what can only be described as a flying ship!

Candelas 12-metre long P-12 is the world’s first high-speed and long-range electric ferry. Equipped with hydrofoils, the ferry basically ‘flies’ above the surface of the water. It can achieve a cruising speed of 20-plus knots, while consuming 80 per cent less energy than conventional ships.

In the summer of 2024, Candela will start piloting a commuter route in Stockholm’s public transport system.

Heart Aerospace and Green Flight Academy

Some Swedish companies, such as Gothenburg-based Heart Aerospace, have set their focus on building electric aircraft. The ES-30 is an electric regional aeroplane with a standard seating capacity of 30 passengers, that is expected to have a fully electric, zero-emissions range of 200 kilometres by 2028.

Other companies, such as Green Flight Academy, have decided to take on another role. Based in northern Sweden, this flight academy offers pilot training with a sustainability focus – 30 per cent of the flight hours take place in electric aeroplanes.

Green Flight Academy believes that flying is essential to human connections, but that the environmental footprint of air travel must be reduced. Paving the way by teaching future pilots and also testing various electric planes in different situations, the academy is helping to shape the future of electric flying. 

A factory building by the water, cloudy skies above. Northvolt is one of the Swedish companies that want to contribute to the electrification of transport.

Swedish green battery manufacturer Northvolt aims to be a part of the electrification of Swedish transport. The company opened its factory in the northern city of Skellefteå in 2022. Fun fact: Co-founder Peter Carlsson used to work at Tesla. Photo: Northvolt

Four glass vials with different substances in them.

In Northvolt's in-house programme for recycling, battery materials are recycled and the recovered metals used in the production of new batteries. Photo: Northvolt

A white, square lithium–ion battery.

These lithium–ion batteries can be used in vehicles, and are part of the electrification of transports. Photo: Northvolt

The inside of a factory. Everything looks white and very clinical.

At the beginning of 2024, Northvolt had more than 5,500 people employed. Photo: Northvolt

A factory building by the water, cloudy skies above. Northvolt is one of the Swedish companies that want to contribute to the electrification of transport.

Swedish green battery manufacturer Northvolt aims to be a part of the electrification of Swedish transport. The company opened its factory in the northern city of Skellefteå in 2022. Fun fact: Co-founder Peter Carlsson used to work at Tesla. Photo: Northvolt

Four glass vials with different substances in them.

In Northvolt's in-house programme for recycling, battery materials are recycled and the recovered metals used in the production of new batteries. Photo: Northvolt

A white, square lithium–ion battery.

These lithium–ion batteries can be used in vehicles, and are part of the electrification of transports. Photo: Northvolt

The inside of a factory. Everything looks white and very clinical.

At the beginning of 2024, Northvolt had more than 5,500 people employed. Photo: Northvolt

A factory building by the water, cloudy skies above. Northvolt is one of the Swedish companies that want to contribute to the electrification of transport.

Swedish green battery manufacturer Northvolt aims to be a part of the electrification of Swedish transport. The company opened its factory in the northern city of Skellefteå in 2022. Fun fact: Co-founder Peter Carlsson used to work at Tesla. Photo: Northvolt

Four glass vials with different substances in them.

In Northvolt's in-house programme for recycling, battery materials are recycled and the recovered metals used in the production of new batteries. Photo: Northvolt

A white, square lithium–ion battery.

These lithium–ion batteries can be used in vehicles, and are part of the electrification of transports. Photo: Northvolt

The inside of a factory. Everything looks white and very clinical.

At the beginning of 2024, Northvolt had more than 5,500 people employed. Photo: Northvolt

SWEDISH COMPANIES TRANSFORMING FOOD

The Swedish food industry is one of the largest industries in the country. Sweden’s overall strategy is to increase food production while making it greener, with one of the goals being to use more locally sourced produce.

There are many innovative Swedish companies that contribute to a more sustainable food production – with a worldwide effect.

A hand holding a small glass jar, against a backdrop of cows on a green field. Volta Greentech is one of the Swedish companies driving the green transition.
Volta Greentech produces a seaweed-based feed supplement that makes cows fart less. Photo: Volta Greentech

Volta Greentech

We probably subconsciously choose to ignore the fact that cows, that provide us with meat, burp and fart. In fact, so much so, that it is a significant source of methane emissions.

Volta Greentech decided not only to stop ignoring this, but also to try to fix it, using seaweed. Yes, you read correctly, seaweed.

Volta Greentech has produced Lome, which is a seaweed-based feed supplement that reduces cows’ enteric methane emissions (farts and burps in layman’s terms) by up to 90 per cent, when fed a daily dose of 100 grammes.

The seaweed used is called Asparagopsis. It contains high amounts of bioactive compounds that naturally prevents enteric methane production – sorry, farts.

Melt and Marble

For the vegans out there, Melt and Marble has good news, it is quite possible for a burger made without animal products to be equally delicious and satisfying as a burger that uses beef. The key: fat.

Melt and Marble recreates the desired characteristics of animal fats through precision fermentation. In this process, the microbial metabolism is rewired and the structure and properties of the fats produced by those microbes are altered.

The company’s goal is to produce a sustainable, animal-free food product ؘjust as delicious as animal fat – and completely guilt-free. Well, unless you’re on a diet.

SWEDISH COMPANIES RENOVATING CONSTRUCTION

Around one-tenth of Sweden’s growth domestic product (GDP) comes from construction. The global construction industry has historically accounted for a large share of carbon emissions – something which has to change. We need to build a better future, literally. 

CemVision 

CemVision is a fast growing Swedish startup that decided to take what is probably the most common building material and reinvent it.

Cemvision’s product, delightfully called Re-ment, consists of two cement binders produced using industrial waste products instead of virgin limestone. This means the production avoids both most cement CO2 emissions and the extraction of raw materials.

The company has also electrified the production process, which lowers the emissions associated with the manufacturing process itself, typically around 30–40 per cent of total cement CO2 emissions.

A factory building belonging to one of the Swedish companies in this article, HYBRIT.
Fossil-free steel manufacturer HYBRIT has a pilot plant in the northern city of Luleå. Photo: Jann Lipka/imagebank.sweden.se

HYBRIT 

Moving on to another very common building material… Steel!

HYBRIT – Hydrogen Breakthrough Ironmaking Technology – is a joint initiative by Swedish steel manufacturer SSAB, mining company LKAB and electricity producer Vattenfall, the latter two state-owned. Together, they aim to make steel production entirely fossil-free by 2045. 

Using hydrogen and fossil-free electricity instead of coal – traditionally needed for ore-based steel production – the by-product is water instead of carbon dioxide. 

In 2021, HYBRIT made its first delivery of fossil-free steel to Swedish Volvo Trucks, as a trial run. By 2026, the company aims to deliver fossil-free steel to the market, with a full-scale solution in place by 2035.

Wanted: skilled labour

The green transition is powering through in Sweden, via great ideas and skilled labour. Swedish companies are always on the lookout for talent, now more than ever. Something to keep in mind when thinking of your next step in life?