Creating Europe’s First Large-Scale Cross-Border Hydrogen Valley: BalticSeaH2 Consortium Meets in Tampere

Study Visit to Finland’s first industrial-scale renewable hydrogen and synthetic methane production plant in Harjavalta.

Energy Valley is a connected valley in BalticSeaH2, an ambitious EU project aimed at creating Europe’s first large-scale cross-border hydrogen valley. In early June, the impressive consortium of 40 partners from nine Baltic Sea area countries and various industries met in Tampere, Finland for the annual Consortium Meeting.

40 Partners from 9 Countries Meet in Tampere

Tampere, the third-largest city in Finland, is renowned for its rich industrial history and dynamic innovation landscape. Known as the “Manchester of Finland,” Tampere has transformed from a traditional manufacturing hub into a modern center for technology and education, making it an ideal location for the BalticSeaH2 gathering.

Tampere, Finland.
Energy Valley’s Role in BalticSeaH2

In BalticSeaH2, Energy Valley leads the Norway-specific Connected Valley activities and contributes to several work packages:

  • WP2: Vision, social transformation, and engagement
  • WP7: Driving impact creation and replication
  • WP8: Communication, dissemination, and exploitation

Energy Valley’s Communication Advisor and EU Advisor participated in the Consortium Meeting, where they received updates on all the work packages. They engaged in interesting workshops with partners, discussing social acceptance of hydrogen projects, co-creating a market model, and planning key exploitation results.

Study Visit to P2X Solutions Oy’s Green Hydrogen Production Plant

A highlight of the trip was a study visit to P2X Solutions Oy’s green hydrogen production plant in Harjavalta. P2X Solutions is the forerunner of the Finnish hydrogen industry, and the Harjavalta plant, set to start producing hydrogen in a few months, will mark the opening of the Finnish hydrogen market.

The electrolysis capacity of the Harjavalta plant is 20 MW, producing green hydrogen using renewable electricity. The plant also includes methanation capacity for the production of renewable synthetic methane.

About the BalticSeaH2 Project

BalticSeaH2 is a project co-funded by EU and coordinated by CLIC Innovation and Gasgrid Finland​. Focused on the main valley between southern Finland and Estonia, BalticSeaH2 aims to revolutionize the energy landscape, fostering self-sufficiency and minimizing carbon emissions across various industries. Successful outcomes from the main valley will be replicated in other regions of the project, including Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and Northern Germany.

Through BalticSeaH2, over 20 demonstration cases and over 10 investment cases will showcase the diverse applications of hydrogen across multiple sectors, attracting a total investment of over 4 billion euros. By project completion, the production potential for hydrogen is set to reach 100 000 tonnes annually, enabling various industries involved in the project to utilize or sell hydrogen and its derivatives.

The BalticSeaH2 Consortium in Tampere, Finland.
What is a hydrogen valley?

A hydrogen valley is a geographical area where various parts of the hydrogen value chain are concentrated, forming a local ecosystem of hydrogen production, distribution, and utilisation. Hydrogen can be transmitted as such, via a pipeline or a refuelling station, or processed further in the valley.

In a hydrogen valley, the distribution and utilisation value chains, as well as side streams like heat, have been considered beforehand to maximise sector integration and efficiency. BalticSeaH2 valley includes six industries: energy, transport, chemical, petro-chemical, refining, and fertilizer industry.

Welcome Knut Linnerud: Enhancing Energy Valley’s EU Engagement

We are delighted to welcome Knut Linnerud as our new EU Advisor at Energy Valley. With his extensive background and valuable skills, Knut is set to enhance our cluster both within Norway and on the EU stage.

As an EU Advisor, Knut will lead the development and implementation of strategic initiatives to maximize our engagement and success in EU programs. His role will involve identifying member needs, enhancing collaborations, and conducting workshops to deepen our members’ understanding of EU opportunities.

Knut has a strong entrepreneurial spirit, evident from his experience as a serial entrepreneur, the founder and leader of Arena H2Cluster, and his role in shaping international strategies as a Senior Business Developer at Greenstat. His project management expertise includes energy optimization initiatives and cross-border Interreg projects.

With a master’s in Architecture and Management, specializing in business economics, green growth, and competitiveness, Knut combines creativity, execution capability, and business acumen. This interdisciplinary approach will be key in mobilizing EU project resources and developing strategic initiatives.

In light of Håkon Haugli’s recent Innovation Speech, which emphasized the importance of Norwegian businesses being proactive and commercially active in Europe, Knut’s role is more relevant than ever. His appointment comes at a time when Norway needs to accelerate its green transition and strengthen its collaboration in digitalization and artificial intelligence with European partners. Knut’s expertise will be instrumental in identifying and maximizing EU opportunities, particularly in Horizon Europe and the European Innovation Council (EIC) funding programs.

Join Energy Valley at ONS 2024

During ONS 2024, you can visit Energy Valley in Hall 7. Will we see you there?

ONS 50th anniversary!

This year, ONS is celebrating its 50th anniversary, and Energy Valley will of course be a part of the leading energy conference & exhibition – driving the new energy future.

From 26-29 August, ONS (Offshore Northern Seas) will host one of the world’s largest gatherings for the international energy industry, anticipating approximately 60,000 – 80,000 visitors.

You can visit Energy Valley at our stand in Hall 7, where we will be alongside remarkable companies from the industry. We are excited to repeat the success of 2022 with a coffee bar at the center of our stand, offering a place for people to gather.

We look forward to soon sharing the stand program and social activities with you. In the meantime, please let us know if you and your company will be attending ONS!

We invite our members to join us at this year’s fair and take advantage of exclusive benefits by participating in Energy Valley’s stand at ONS 2024 in Stavanger this August. Are you interested in joining us? For more information, please contact Emilie Ryste at emilie.ryste@energyvalley.com.

The Minister of Trade and Industry seeks advice from entrepreneurs and startups nationwide

Input meeting at Mesh in Oslo, 1st of March 2024.

The Minister of Trade and Industry seeks advice from entrepreneurs and startups nationwide

On a quest to make Norway the best country in the world to start and run a business, Minister of Trade and Industry Jan Christian Vestre is turning to the nation’s entrepreneurs and startups for advice. Energy Valley seized the opportunity – on Friday 1st of March, representative Ola Thorud Jacobsen shared our perspectives on the main challenges and proposed some measures.

Vestre is hosting input meetings nationwide, seeking concrete advice and input from entrepreneurs and startups. These consultations will inform the government’s forthcoming parliamentary white paper on entrepreneurship and startups, slated for release in 2024. By engaging directly with entrepreneurs, Vestre hopes to address key challenges and foster closer collaboration between the public and private sectors.

Energy Valley and startup representative, Ola Thorud Jacobsen, presented several challenges and measurements, such as access to capital, skills, regulations and bureaucracy, and support for green transition.

Access to Capital

Startups face significant barriers in accessing startup and growth capital. The Norwegian capital market can be challenging for new players, especially in the early stages. Energy Valley suggests establishing more incentives for investment in startups, such as tax breaks for angel investors, and increasing the availability of public funding.

Skills

There is an urgent need to attract and retain highly qualified talent, particularly in technology, sustainability, and digital innovation. Strengthening educational offerings and making it easier to attract talent to Norway is crucial. Energy Valley emphasizes the need to continue strengthening the link between higher education and the business sector, facilitating lifelong learning and reskilling in line with technological advancements.

Regulations and Bureaucracy

Complex regulations and bureaucratic processes can stifle innovation and growth, diverting valuable time from core business activities. A great measurement would be to reduce bureaucratic barriers and streamline processes for startup and business operations, with a particular focus on digitalizing public services.

Support for Green Transition

While there is growing awareness of sustainable development, entrepreneurs need more concrete support and guidance to integrate green solutions into their business models. Energy Valley proposes the implementation of specific programs to increase contributions from both the private and public sectors.

Energy Valley and startup representative Ola Thorud Jacobsen presented several challenges and measurements to the Minister of Trade and Industry.

As representatives of the startup community and energy industry startups in Norway, Energy Valley appreciates the government’s commitment to creating a world-leading business environment and looks forward to working with the government to achieve this goal.

Norway: Pioneering the Green Industrial Transition

Photo: Rainer Jensen/Hannover Messe.

Norway: Pioneering the Green Industrial Transition

Norway is the official Partner Country of Hannover Messe 2024, the world’s leading trade fair. Under the headline “Pioneering the Green Industrial Transition,” Norway will showcase products and solutions from cutting-edge industries including CCS, hydrogen, batteries and AI and machine learning.

Norway is Partner Country of Hannover Messe 2024

With special emphasis on clean energy and industry 4.0, a selection of companies will demonstrate Norway’s ambitions for a low carbon society and its key role in developing solutions necessary to transform the industry and reach net-zero.

In a press release dated 21 February, Minister of Trade and Industry Jan Christian Vestre expressed Norway’s pride in being named Partner Country at Hannover Messe.

“Norway is honoured to be Partner Country at Hannover Messe. Norway’s highly skilled work force, advanced industry and energy technology, as well as high degree of trust and stability, makes us a key partner in the green shift and one of the world’s most attractive countries for business. We are thrilled to showcase the Norwegian way of doing business and highlight what Norway has to offer,” said Minister of Trade and Industry Jan Christian Vestre.

Two Norwegian pavilions

Norway will be present with a national pavilion in hall 12 (Energy Solutions) and in hall 13, with a pavilion specifically dedicated to hydrogen. At the national pavilion, clean energy and industry 4.0 will be at the forefront, with key players like Statkraft, Equinor, Yara, Siemens and Morrow Batteries taking part. Together, Norwegian companies delivering products and solutions from industries such as hydrogen, CCS, AI and machine learning, digital infrastructure, batteries and charging infrastructure, minerals and materials technology, will demonstrate Norwegian industry’s key role in the green transition.

“Norway and Germany are key trading partners and we have entered a strategic industrial partnership on renewable energy and green industry. We hope the Norwegian presence at the Hannover Messe will further strengthen this close cooperation between our two countries,” said Minister Vestre.

Meet the Norwegian companies joining Team Norway for the Hannover Messe and find more information about the Norwegian pavilion here.

Last chance to join the Norwegian pavilion!

Are you interested, but missed the opportunity? Get in touch with Business Norway or the German-Norwegian Chambre of Commerce.

Meet the new faces of Energy Valley

From the left: Ola Thorud Jacobsen, Helena Snare Jensby, Bjørn Ottar Elseth, Vibeke Østlyngen.

Meet the new faces of Energy Valley

As we turn the page on a year marked by change, Energy Valley is excited to introduce our dynamic new team. With a wealth of experience and fresh perspectives, they are ready to lead Energy Valley towards a new chapter filled with innovation and collaboration. Meet the faces driving Energy Valley’s journey forward.

Bringing over two decades of industry experience, Bjørn Ottar Elseth steps into the role of CEO with a rich background from aerospace, communications, and energy. His strategic vision and extensive network will be instrumental in exploring the vast potential of the energy transition and leveraging Energy Valley’s resources to the benefit of all members.

Our new Head of Innovation and Ecosystem is Ola Thorud Jacobsen. Ola’s unique background in cluster management and startup collaboration positions him strongly to foster innovation within our ecosystem. Ola focuses on enhancing collaboration between startups and established players, driving innovation and knowledge exchange between Energy Valley’s members across the value chain.

Vibeke Østlyngen, our Head of Projects and Administration, has over 25 years of experience in the shipping and maritime sector. Her expertise in operations, strategy, and market intelligence will play a key role in navigating complex projects. Vibeke is looking forward to developing Energy Valley further to bring value to members and partners alike.

From top left: Bjørn Ottar Elseth, Preben Strøm, Ola Thorud Jacobsen, Vibeke Østlyngen, Helena Snare Jensby, Emilie Ryste.

Helena Snare Jensby, our Communication Advisor, brings a holistic perspective honed through international experience and interdisciplinary studies. With a background in stakeholder communication and international network development, Helena is eager to convey the stories of Energy Valley’s members and promote Norway’s energy transformation.

Our Chief Commercial Officer, Preben Strøm, remains a devoted figure in Energy Valley.

With our team in Norway and Preben holding fort in Singapore, we joke that Energy Valley never sleeps — we are operational almost 24/7, thanks to our global time zone coverage!

In addition, we recently engaged a new Event and Membership Advisor, Emilie Ryste. She comes from a backgrodund in International Management, sustainable concept development, and green hydrogen. Emilie will play a crucial role in facilitating the events and meeting places that bring together our various stakeholders.

Together, we look forward to serving members and embracing the opportunities that await for the cluster and the Norwegian energy industry.

You can read more about Energy Valley and our administration here.

Energizing Renewables: A Call to Action for Talent Acquisition Experts

Energizing Renewables: A Call to Action for Talent Acquisition Experts

Norway’s commitment to achieving its climate targets necessitates a strategic pivot towards renewable energy. This transition, critical for our sustainable future, faces a significant hurdle: the need to attract and retain skilled professionals in the renewable energy sector.

In Norway, the renewable energy industry is currently grappling with a talent crisis, marked by intense competition, escalating salaries, and high turnover rates. These challenges complicate recruitment processes, hinder the development of strong corporate cultures, and disrupt business continuity, highlighting a pressing need for specialized workforce solutions.

Therefore, we will launch an initiative this spring to address the critical question: How can we more effectively recruit talent into this growing sector?

In collaboration with our partner Stem Agency, we will host a workshop in April that will bring together stakeholders from various organizations within the renewable energy field to share insights and strategies on attracting talent from other industries, engaging students coming directly from education, and drawing upon international expertise.

Drawing from the workshop’s discussions, we will form theories which will be further explored through an extensive survey amongst people with recruitment responsibilities in the renewable energy sector. We are excited to unveil the findings of this survey during Arendalsuka 2024 and invite all interested parties to join us. 

Photo: Stem Agency

Your expertise and insights will provide valuable input for understanding how to overcome the challenges of talent acquisition in this rapidly evolving landscape. By attending, you will be able to share your experiences, generate ideas, network with industry peers, and contribute to shaping the future workforce of the renewable energy sector in Norway.

Statnett and ZEG have already committed to the workshop. Don’t miss this opportunity to contribute to a sustainable future. Sign up for the workshop today and be part of the solution in making renewable energy the cornerstone of Norway’s climate strategy.

The workshop will be conducted in Fornebu on the 9th of April at 2 pm. Save the date!

Sign up here!

Energy Valley partners with Slush’D Energy

Energy Valley partners with Slush’D Energy

In the vibrant city of Mandal, nestled on the southern coast of Norway, a groundbreaking event is set to unfold the 14th of March 2024 – Slush’D Energy, a sub-conference of the renowned Slush gathering. Project manager and initiator, Ole Henrik Golf, looks forward to gathering around 1000 attendees for what might be the start of yearly energy conference in Mandal.

Mandal is one out of five cities to host Slush’D in 2024

Slush stands tall as one of the world’s largest and most important conferences for startups, investors, and emerging technologies, attracting nearly 20,000 attendees annually to Helsinki.

Out of 108 global contenders, Mandal has secured its place as one of the five cities to host Slush’D this year, merging the dynamic startup scene with the evolving energy sector.

Ole Henrik Golf, the visionary behind this venture, assures that it’s not just another energy conference – it’s different!

“We have combined the startup scene with the energy sector – creating a unique gathering of early-stage green tech, international investors and industry leaders. Expect world class speakers, three stages, 1:1 pre-booked meetings, Skagerak Investor Lounge, a startup EXPO area, food courts and bars and of course an awesome afterparty,” Golf explains.

According to Ole Henrik, the idea for Slush’D Energy in Mandal took root during a visit to Slush’D in Århus two years ago. Convinced they could outshine their Danish counterparts (with all due respect), Ole Henrik and his team are now committed to delivering an event that surpasses expectations.

Partnering with Energy Valley – A natural fit

Golf expresses, “Partnering with Energy Valley was a no brainer. Their expertise in the energy field along with a world class network of companies, was for sure something we wanted to be present at Slush’D Energy in Mandal. Our hope is that this is the start of an exciting and long journey together.”

Head of Innovation and Ecosystem at Energy Valley, Ola Thorud Jacobsen, is very impressed that Ole Henrik and the team managed to get Slush’D to Mandal. With its focus on energy, Energy Valley eagerly partners with Slush’D Energy to create a unique conference experience lasting beyond 2024.

Energy Valley is going the extra mile, quite literally, by dedicating a bus exclusively for its members, ensuring easy access from Oslo to Mandal. Jacobsen sees this journey as more than just a commute, stating, “This is also a good opportunity to network and get to know other members even better – and we might have some surprises along the way.”

Energy Valley will be quite visible at the conference, Jacobsen adds. “We will be on the main stage and our startups will showcase their businesses for investors in the Startup Expo Area.”

Ola encourages everyone who is interested in Slush’D Energy to sign up today.

Empower New Energy and Jet Energy Unveils Cutting-Edge Solar Power Plant in Mediounafor the Moroccan Poultry Leader – Zalar Holding

November 13, 2023 – Empower New Energy, in collaboration with Zalar Holding and Jet Energy, is delighted to announce the inauguration of a cutting-edge solar photovoltaic rooftop plant at Zalar’s Agro-Industrial facility in Mediouna, situated within the Casablanca region. This marks Empower New Energy’s entry into the Moroccan market. The event was attended by His Excellency, Mr. Sjur Larsen, the Norwegian Ambassador to Morocco.

The successful implementation of the 828 kWp Mediouna plant is the first among a series of four rooftop solar installations for Zalar Holding, with a combined capacity of 2.5 MWp, representing an investment of approximately $2 million. The three remaining installations, each nearing 90% completion, are located in Fes (El Alf), Nouasseur (Banchereau), and Had Soualem (Dindy). Together, these four plants will generate an impressive 3.76 GWh of clean and sustainable electricity annually, effectively powering all four of Zalar’s subsidiaries.

Zalar Holding, an innovative leader in Morocco’s poultry sector, is poised to benefit greatly from this abundant source of clean energy. The project is expected to reduce approximately 2,300 tonnes of CO2 emissions annually, equivalent to about 37,000 tonnes of CO2 over its lifetime. In addition to its positive environmental impact, the initiative is projected to create and protect over 100 job opportunities, including direct and indirect positions.

Empower New Energy is proud to announce the completion of the first phase of Zalar Holding‘s rooftop solar installations is just the beginning of a much larger vision. With three more projects in the pipeline, Zalar Holding is on track to reach a combined capacity of 2.5 MWp. These projects will be strategically situated across various locations, further amplifying their impact on local communities and bringing renewable energy benefits to a wider population,” Empower New Energy writes on LinkedIn. 

Valley Voice: Energy storage technologies

Get to know one of our new members, Planck Technologies, in this edition of Valley Voice. Listen Managing Director & Founder of Planck Technologies, Maryam Ghadrdan, talks about optimizing the current and discovering the next generation energy storage materials.

Watch it below or on Vimeo.

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