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KEY TAKEAWAYS FROM THE TALK 4 – Renewable energy

22 August 2022

On June 21st, CLS held our fourth Sustainable Talk about Renewable Energy, with the presence of VP Cathode Active Material at Northvolt AB, Maria Åstrand, Brand and Marketing Manager at Volvo Cars Portugal, Luis Santos, International Business Relation and Marketing & Communications at Universal Kraft, Daniela Martins. Moderated by CLS Board Member, Anna Bergström. 

CLS would like to thank WY-Group who made it possible to make our Talk in a hybrid setting at their beautiful facilties in Santo Amaro.

 As we know the world has an increasing demand on energy and a consumption with a rising phase that is utterly worrisome. When we look at energy from a historical perspective, we can see that energy has been the source of creating new dependencies. We have also acknowledged climate change as a fact, and we now have many innovations and resources to stop this change, so the question remains - what are we waiting for?

Universal Kraft 

What big projects can really make a difference and what is in the works right now? 

  • The urge right now is to bring in new capacity: 
    • The easiest way for this is self-consumption, meaning to reinforce every house and industry owner to have solar panels on the roof. Where individual sustainably produce their own consumption of energy.
    • We also have GigaWatts of Solar PV (meaning the process of turning light into electricity and the measurement of this) of utility use. The problem here lies within slow permitting processes as well as the need for policy change.
  • Solutions to gain raw materials in a sustainable way are to produce them, but lies the question of transporting this via a sustainable transport chain.
  • In terms of transport there are different solutions to green-it-up, for example, electric mobility and hydrogen mobility for trucks and use of green ammonia for sea transport.
  • Production close to consumption is an easy way to reduce Co2 emissions, but also being aware where one buys and source materials from.


The need of European Value chains and the European independence in an energy sense, how does Northvolt regard natural resources, local communities, transforming economies?

  • By narrowing it down to raw materials, we know with the growth forecast that we have on EV (electric vehicle), that it will lay very far in the future for Europe to be fully self sufficient for use of materials.
  • Local sourcing is not only about cutting down Co2 from transport, but also about securing our future and making us, Europe, more independent on the global political landscape.
  • If we look at how we are currently setting up Europe, there are a lot of really good initiatives on EV and battery manufacturing. Northvolt currently has a very good collaboration with Volvo to set up a gigafactory in Gothenburg, which is just an example amongst similar initiatives throughout Europe.
  • We can although see that the supply of raw materials is really lagging which becomes a hindrance if the permitting, policy and investment -processes are slow. In order to resolve this issue we believe that we need to collaborate between the interfaces of academic, industry, politics and finance to bring everyone together on the same route.

Volvo Cars Portugal

What is the role of transportation in sustainability and how energy can be used in a better way?

  • It is unfortunate to see that 27% of the total greenhouse emissions comes from transport and 12% from passenger cars. 
  • That is why we at Volvo really believe that we can take a stand and make a difference. In order to do so we have two strong commitments:
    • To be carbon neutral by 2040, meaning incorporating zero Co2 in production processes, the usage phase of the car, destruction and the recycling of the materials. 
    • To advance to pure electric cars by 2030 and we expect to reach this even sooner. In order to do so we need to reconstruct the lifecycle of the car.
  •  70% of the emissions from the production phase of the car comes from only 3 things: batteries, aluminium and the steel. By using renewable energy in producing these materials you will be able to cut down a lot of the emissions.
  • Another way that is important is how one uses the vehicle, where charging with electricity makes a huge difference and our job is thus to show the consumer how much of a difference they can make. 


In terms of storage solutions, what can we do today?

  • We have a recycling initiative where we take used cells and covert them into raw materials that again is used in the process to produce new cells.
  • It will take many years until we are able to completely work around the need for virgin materials, as it is currently essential for the growth in cell manufacturing.

 Volvo Cars Portugal

  • It is very important to point out for whose who think that batteries cannot be recycled, that they can, the materials inside the batteries can indeed be divided, recycled and processed into new batteries. 

Universal Kraft

  • It is also important to understand the option of storage of renewable energy. The innovation speed in this industry is currently at a very high speed and we at Universal Kraft are working on different projects not only in Sweden but also in Canada amongst others, where we find solutions for large scale storage of renewed energy. It is very important that the produced renewable energy in the future will not be conditioned to only being produced, for example, when the sun is shining or when the wind is blowing, but that it can be stored and brought to used regardless of the day to day weather forecast. 

Other topics discussed:

  • What projects in renewable energy are currently bringing Portugal and Sweden together? 
  • What are the difficulties in working with renewable energy?
  • Are people ready to change their mindset?
  • How can issues of permitting and policies be solved? 




For any additional questions – feel free to get in touch with CLS!

The Sustainability initiative talks are made partnership with

CLS - the Swedish Portuguese Chamber of Commerce
Embassy of Sweden in Lisbon
Business Sweden Portugal
AICEP - the Portuguese trade & investment council
AstraZeneca Portugal
Ericsson Portugal
Penice Ocean Watch
Universal Kraft
 Volvo Cars Portugal
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