Joakim Berg, director Development of Energy Technology at Wasagroup OY, is now taking over the role as chairman of the board in Oazer AB, and in this interview he answers to five questions.
1. Tell us briefly about your tasks at Wasagroup
My role is to suggest energy solutions for properties. It can be about self-sufficient households using solar panels and hydrogen which is the best way to store energy. To get more profitability, we plan to build hydrogen filling stations for private cars and, where it´s possible, for heavy traffic. There are already hydrogen vehicles available and we can get that traffic started rapidly. But it´s in the heavy traffic the major environmental improvements and the “business” will be found.
2. You also have assignments within the EU. What is the assignment about?
I actually have several assignments. One of them is the European Clean Hydrogen Alliance round table group for properties (Residential Application) where we discuss properties and especially energy solutions for properties. We have slightly different possibilities. In southern and central Europe, it is relatively easy to replace natural gas with hydrogen in the existing gas network, but in the Nordic region, the gas network has not been expanded, so we need other forms of heating our properties. We have managed to get the EU to rethink by proposing decentralized, small facilities for the production, storage and use of hydrogen. It is also possible to sell the hydrogen gas and also sell electricity to the electricity grid, which can be very profitable.
3. What do you think about the future of hydrogen in Sweden and the Nordic countries?
In the long run, we will probability have hydrogen almost everywhere. In traffic, there will be both battery and hydrogen solutions, which do not compete but complement each other. Especially in heavy transport, hydrogen will play a crucial role in phasing out the fossil fuels and make traffic emission-free. It’s tricky to set a timeline. As the world looks now, the process has been accelerated. Europe wants and must become self-sufficient in both energy and equipment production.
4. How would you describe threats and opportunities?
There are no general threats, but challenges such as permit processes that takes a long time to process. After the wars we had in Finland, we had to rebuild large parts of the infrastructure and today we have one of the world’s most modern and powerful electricity networks. Despite that, our electricity networks will still not be able to meet future needs as everything that can, needs to be electrified (replacing dirty molecules with pure electrons).
Above all, the possibilities with hydrogen is the posibility to store large amounts of energy. Our properties will be more robust and self-sufficient and less vulnerable as they will not be affected by power outages or prize changes for the electricity.
5. As the new Chairman, what can you contribute and what does your vision look like?
I will use my contacts in the EU. There I also sit in working groups that will handle the permit procedure when it comes to hydrogen. A big goal is to speed up the process, which Oazer will also benefit from.
The vision for Oazer is to build the business and in the long run get a fully functioning hydrogen society instead of the oil society we have today.