Chapter 2: The energy expert: “Change will be fast”

Chapter 2: The energy expert: “Change will be fast”

In the municipally owned energy company Jämtkraft’s head office at Kyrkgatan in Östersund, the company’s newly appointed CEO Erik Brandsma is settling in.

He is a Forest Engineer trained in the Netherlands and Canada. He has a solid background in energy issues from international power companies and sustainable development projects within the UN and the OECD. As General Director of The Swedish Energy Agency for the past six years, he has worked with energy systems development and electrification of transport.

Erik Brandsma gladly talks about synergies in the transition that the energy and transport sectors are in the middle of, and he is impressed by the cooperation in the electric bus project in Östersund. The project is being carried out in collaboration with Scania and Östersund Municipality, Krokom Municipality, Jämtkraft, Nettbuss, Länstrafiken (the public transport organisation in Jämtland county), The Swedish Transport Administration, Region Jämtland Härjedalen and ABB.

“This is a partnership where all parties contribute with different perspectives. We provide expertise within energy and transmission, and we also contribute by delivering local renewable energy into this system. Scania provides know-how and products, and the municipality works as a marketplace that keeps it all together.“

Not a one man show

“This is how innovation will drive the transformation that we need in our different sectors”, he says and clarifies:

“In the transport and energy sectors, we have realised that this is not a one man show. We need to work together to find new innovative ideas and solutions that support and grow society. Our partnership in Östersund is an example of how we have succeeded in creating a solution together that helps. This project is a model for further development of new business ideas.”

“We are examining how future cities will look”

“We have two different actors from two industries that collectively contribute to an offer that we have built from scratch. We are examining how future cities will look. There are so many aspects that play a part in this, ranging from quality of life to climate change, and how to use the city wisely. That´s what I find so unique about this project.”

We must reach our climate goals

Erik Brandsma sees electrification as an important – although not the only – solution for the shift in the transport sector.

“There are biofuels and other aspects that could be addressed. But electrification with renewable green energy is a prerequisite for us to meet our climate targets in the Paris Agreement.”
And he is convinced that the electrification of the transport sector will be fast.

“For every new forecast we make, we estimate that it will go even faster. Frankly, it needs to be fast, because we must reach our climate goals. We also see a demand that increases much faster than we thought. Cities want clean, quiet and efficient transport. This is exactly what the partners in the electrical bus project can offer.”

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