• Erik Granholm

The energy system driven by the people

We are on-board! From concept and hard work to reality, our ship has finally sailed! The Swedish Energy Agency has granted aid for our project “Smart Farmer” that will outstretch to the beginning of summer 2022. With this project we aim together with our partners to revolutionize the way we consume and produce energy. The world has set a goal and agreed to keep the global temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius. According to IPCC, the electricity production stands for one-quarter of the global emissions. At the same time, the need for electricity is increasing day by day making it difficult for the energy providers to manage the shortage of electricity while consequently adapting to climate change and decreasing the fossil fuel use. Moreover, the grid networks are not capable to handle the increased energy flow from different energy sources e.g., fossil fuels and renewable energy. In short, we need to change how we produce and consume electricity and we need to do it quickly. As reported by BBC, the big energy companies globally are moving far too slowly to reach their sustainability goals. Neither the planet or the people living on it will wait for them, and we will not either. The CE Delft research shows that half of all European Union citizens could be producing their own renewable electricity by 2050, and thereby account for 45 % of the total EU energy consumption. Together with The Swedish Energy Agency we have already started the transition and our intention is to reach this goal within this decade. With our “Smart Farmer” project we aim to establish a marketplace empowering consumers and prosumers (consumers who produce their own energy) – to benefit from locally produced, renewable electricity. The Energy Club, our energy-trading platform will be further developed for enabling members to buy local green electricity at a lower price, sell or share it with other members, and have a transparent overview as well as optimisation of their consumption.

The Näshulta Model It is a sunny spring day, 2021, as we drive to Haneberg Säteri in Näshulta, Eskilstuna. Anders Kruhsberg's estate gives a dynamic impression with cannons on the driveway and solar panels on the roofs and it's no surprise that we landed there. Näshulta is a vibrant village with a distinct and much talked-about sense of home and is beautifully situated in the heart of Sörmland, with the sparkling Näshultasjön lake as a vibrant source of recreation and tourism. It is also the same countryside where Jacob Jonas Björnståhlf was born in 1731, one of Sweden's foremost travel writers and scientists. From a relatively simple but culturally vibrant environment, he ventured out into the world and met people like Goethe, Rousseau and Voltaire. It is a countryside that breathes innovation and transformation. "We want to lad the change" Anders says during our conversation about the future of energy systems. The opportunity to add value to their land and countryside by investing in renewable energy has not passed him or other local stakeholders by. Whether it's to become a security point for the big city of Eskilstuna next door, gain a good financial return for the future or to create an environmentally conscious change in the community, the world's first energy club starting in Näshulta is now being run by just, the people.

“This provides an opportunity for individual level and farm level to own the energy supply issue and also to find a business opportunity, instead of always being dependent on the larger energy companies.” - Anders Kruhsberg, CEO Haneberg Säteri, one of the first Energy Club members Furthermore, the project will develop theory and methodology for a new solution. With digital technologies such as blockchain and AI integrated into the Energy Club, we will involve both the end-users and stakeholders to ensure the solution is beneficial and technically viable. “Digitalization of the energy system” was the title of the call we had with The Swedish Energy Agency. Despite all the competition, we received their trust and our “Smart Farmer” project got chosen from all the other innovative business proposals. By digitalizing the energy sector and making it community-driven, we will deal with the global and local climate issues and giving each individual an opportunity to make a real change. We are thrilled to announce our pilot members in this project, who are the first to demonstrate the Energy Club-system. They are Hökärr trä & bygg, Haneberg Säteri, Tomastorp and Magda Säteri and are all farms located at Näshulta in Eskilstuna community. Together with them we will prove the concept and create the energy trading community of our future. We have brought together a team with experts and organizations we believe are the best for realizing the goals of the project. Chalmers is a leading university in Europe within research of renewable energy systems. The purpose with our collaboration is to uncover the best and most sustainable way of transforming the countryside’s electricity production and distribution. We are also delighted to be part of the IBM Accelerator Start-up program. With IBM Sweden we will develop the best IT solution for creating the most trustworthy and user-friendly digital platform. Lastly, we have partnered up with Kraftpojkarna, Sweden’s largest distributor of solar panels, energy storage - and E-mobility solutions. They will provide our Energy Club members with delivery, installation and maintenance of hardware.

“I really look forward to being part of this new way of sharing energy.” - Elin Ericsson, CEO Hökärr Trä & Bygg, one of the first Energy Club members "Smart Farmer” will learn from previous projects e.g. Brooklyn Microgrid in the US, Chalmer’s Fossil-free Energy Districts (FED) in Sweden and the LAMP project in Germany, using the knowledge gained and by working closely with our partners we'll build the only true energy system we can be proud of, together.

A renewable energy system powered by the people.

How does your future look like?

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