Smart City Sweden North

Explore northern Sweden!

Discover smart & sustainable solutions in the northern region.

Photo: Sara Ingman/Imagebank.sweden.se

About the region

Northern Sweden is, with exceptional surroundings and strong entrepreneurship, driving the change towards sustainable growth. There is a distinct awareness in northern Sweden of sustainable development, which is displayed through our strengths bio-economy, clean energy and smart sustainable cities. 

Sweden has over 87 billion trees and 70 % of northern Sweden are covered in forest. Bio-economy is one of our many strengths: the knowledge of the process, from planting the seed to refining the whole tree including the residual streams. One example of best practice from our region is RISE Processum in Örnsköldsvik, a biorefinery research and development organisation in close collaboration with the industry. Their work includes developing new products, processes and energy solutions from raw material and residual streams from the process industry.

Clean energy

 Clean energy is focusing on ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all. Wind power technologies, waste to energy and fuels of the future are developed here. Black pellets and biofuel, among other products, are developed and produced in the region. Companies within the clean energy field are EnviBAT, high-performance cutting-edge technology in the exhaust gas cleaning, heat recovery and water treatment industries; Eco-Oil, which develops green petrol for combustion engines; and Envigas, producing bio-coal for increased yields in agriculture and decontamination of land.

Smart & sustainable cities

Smart sustainable cities, built from clean energy, green technology and sustainable solutions, are another strength of Smart City Sweden North. A smart city is a city where technology, markets and consu­mers work together to create sustainable technologies and solutions through climate-smart business models. The northern region has four universities and strong collaborations between business and academia. Some companies within the field are Green Zone, showing it is finan­cially viable to transform from linear to circular thinking, and Hybricon, an ultrafast way of charging electrical buses. Sustainable Ålidhem is a unique project for sustainable urban development which includes social, technical, environmental and financial aspects located in Umeå.

 Smart City Sweden North offers technical and business visits in northern Sweden for groups of investors, compa­nies, entrepreneurs, researchers, government officials and organisations. We will tailor all visits to suit the requirements of the visitor. Welcome!


Best practice in the region

Fossil-free steel demonstration plant in Vitåfors (Gällivare)  – direct reduction of iron ore pellets with hydrogen

Fossil-free steel demonstration plant in Vitåfors (Gällivare) – direct reduction of iron ore pellets with hydrogen

HYBRIT’s demonstration plant in Vitåfors will demonstrate the value chain for fossil-free steel on an industrial scale. It includes production of hydrogen and of sponge iron by direct reduction with hydrogen. The plant is planned to be ready in 2026.

Fossil-free steel pilot plant in Luleå – direct reduction of iron ore pellets with hydrogen

Fossil-free steel pilot plant in Luleå – direct reduction of iron ore pellets with hydrogen

HYBRIT is conducting trials on direct reduction of iron ore pellets, using hydrogen produced by fossil-free electricity. HYBRIT is also building a pilot hydrogen storage to test the best way to store hydrogen underground.

Haraholmen – a green industrial park where sustainability is key

Haraholmen – a green industrial park where sustainability is key

Haraholmen is an industrial park where sustainability is key. The site uses renewable energy, welcomes companies with green profiles, and is a hub for resource-efficient transportation with access to roads, railways, and a deep-water port.

Markbygden 1101 – Europe’s largest onshore wind farm

Markbygden 1101 – Europe’s largest onshore wind farm

Markbygden 1101 is the largest onshore wind power project in Europe. Once completed, it will consist of up to 1101 wind turbines that together will produce up to 12 TWh per year. This is comparable with around 8% of Sweden’s electricity production.

Site East –  a climate neutral construction site

Site East – a climate neutral construction site

At Skellefteå Site East, close to Northvolt’s factory, conditions are created to create the most sustainable development project ever. By maximizing the cutting edge know-how of both Skellefteå municipality and external partners, Skellefteå Site East is a source of inspiration for the industry. Both in terms of the courage to dare to think and act in new ways around sustainability, and in working together with contractors towards a common vision.

Skellefteå Airport – a green airport

Skellefteå Airport – a green airport

At a time when the global aviation sector is facing increasing demands to get on a sustainable flightpath, one airport in northern Sweden has gotten a head start with an extensive vision that has led them to become one of Europe’s and probably the world’s first fossil-free airport. At the same time the airport is now preparing to become a testcenter for electric powered and vertical-starting aircrafts.

Sensors and AI Technology Provide Smarter Power Grid Maintenance and Troubleshooting

Sensors and AI Technology Provide Smarter Power Grid Maintenance and Troubleshooting

In 2018, the electricity grid around Malå, Sweden, was fitted with a Smart Grid Surveillance system that detects and locates faults and deviations in the grid. The solution enables much more efficient and proactive maintenance, saving time and money.

Fossil-Free Battery Factory Accelerates Transition to Electric with 100% Green Energy

Fossil-Free Battery Factory Accelerates Transition to Electric with 100% Green Energy

Northvolt in Skellefteå is the greenest battery plant in Europe, providing sustainable replacement of fossil fuels through the large-scale manufacture of batteries for the electrification of transport and vehicles. What’s more, the plant uses 100% green energy.

Electric busses adapted to cold climate

Electric busses adapted to cold climate

It is a big challenge with electric vehicles in northern Europe is to adapt them to the cold climate, both in regard to function and comfort for passengers and drivers. In Umeå in Northern Sweden there is a company that has managed to develop a technology that makes it possible to run the buses even during a very cold winter day as well as a hot sunny day with advanced air heating/cold system.

Sara Cultural Centre – One of the World’s Tallest Timber Buildings

Sara Cultural Centre – One of the World’s Tallest Timber Buildings

Sara Cultural Centre, one of the world’s tallest timber buildings, is located in Skellefteå, just below the artic circle in the north of Sweden. The building houses venues for arts, performances and meetings as well as a hotel, and has been constructed with the latest energy solutions.

Smart Living lab in the University district of Umeå

Smart Living lab in the University district of Umeå

Umeå is a fast growing city in Northern Sweden with progressive and environmentally-friendly citizens. Located 600 km north of Stockholm, the 11th largest city in Sweden has a subarctic climate, with short and fairly warm summers, but lengthy and freezing winters. Umeå will continue to grow with ecological, economic and social sustainability. The purpose is to reduce the city’s CO₂ emissions through less energy use and sustainable transports. By developing smart business models and working methods, we will ensure that we will continue to be innovative when we are developing the sustainable city.

Sharing Economy Solutions for a Smart and Sustainable City

Sharing Economy Solutions for a Smart and Sustainable City

The city of Umeå is a pioneer in developing the sharing economy. The city has established test beds for a number of sharing services and digital solutions that lead to a more sustainable society.

Gender Equality and Inclusiveness in Urban Planning

Gender Equality and Inclusiveness in Urban Planning

As segregation and inequality are increasing in many parts of the world , inclusiveness in the planning process of cities and communities is becoming even more important. The city of Umeå in northern Sweden is working hard to create an inclusive, safe environment for all.

Climate smart use of district heating system to warm up parked aircraft

Climate smart use of district heating system to warm up parked aircraft

Luleå Airport is one of two pilot sites testing a new way to heavily reduce the carbon emissions. By using the district heating and cooling system for parked aircrafts, the airport’s electricity demand has dropped by 95 %.

Stormwater Research Centre Is Brimming with New Ideas

Stormwater Research Centre Is Brimming with New Ideas

‘Drizzle’ is a centre of excellence committed to high-quality R&D in pioneering stormwater solutions that address several challenges: minimising pollution loads on receiving waters; minimising the risk of urban flooding; and taking advantage of the opportunities offered by stormwater run-off.

Energy, Heat and Steam Generated from 99% Renewable Fuels

Energy, Heat and Steam Generated from 99% Renewable Fuels

Hörneborgsverket, a biofuel-based cogeneration plant, is at the heart of Övik Energi’s energy production. Hörneborgsverket produces roughly equal amounts of district heating, steam, and electricity. Some 99% of the fuels used at the plant are renewable, and the steam is distributed to local industries.

World-Class Biorefinery for Sustainable Cellulose Production

World-Class Biorefinery for Sustainable Cellulose Production

Domsjö Fabriker is part of the Aditya Birla Group, the world’s largest of viscose fibre producer. This cutting-edge biorefinery is developing the textiles of the future for the world’s catwalks, from northern spruce trees. This is creating a sustainable bioeconomy that uses the forest’s unique renewable resources.

MTC – a Full-Scale Test Bed for New Solutions within Waste and Pollution

MTC – a Full-Scale Test Bed for New Solutions within Waste and Pollution

Increased efforts in environmental technology is crucial to achieve a more sustainable use of society’s resources. MTC in Umeå specialises in the implementation of emerging environmental technologies, focusing on waste, contaminated water and contaminated soil.

Algae Project’s Reduction of CO2 and Production of Biomass Is Climate Win-Win

Algae Project’s Reduction of CO2 and Production of Biomass Is Climate Win-Win

Two pilot projects in Sweden are using algae cultivation to achieve a number of sustainable effects. Besides reducing carbon dioxide emissions and purifying waste water to minimise over-fertilization, the algae cultivation produces energy-rich algae mass that can be used for biodiesel and animal feed.

Processum – Biorefinery Development for a Fossil-free Future

Processum – Biorefinery Development for a Fossil-free Future

Processum is an international research- and innovation partner in biorefinery. In their unique research environment, Processum can test new ideas and products all the way from laboratory to demo scale. The aim is to develop methods for converting all kinds of biomass into useful materials such as proteins and chemicals and into bioenergy to replace fossil based raw materials.

Unique water purification

Unique water purification

Järven Ecotech designs and installs complete treatment plants for purifying and collecting surface/storm water, leachate, industrial water and sewerage water. For example, Järven Ecotech’s totally unique floating walls/baffles can replace conventional surface/storm water purification solutions on the market, such as dug/excavated surface water basins, sedimentation tanks and filtering solutions.

Windpower in Hörnefors

Windpower in Hörnefors

Wind power is an endless and renewable source of energy that has been used for thousands of years. It plays an important role in Umeå Energis investment in renewable energy and is in line with the company’s aim to be completely carbon neutral by 2018. In total, the municipality owned company Umeå Energi owns ten wind turbines, which provide significant climate benefits. These turbines are situated in the towns of Hörnefors, Holmsund and Robertsfors.

Umeå Wastewater Treatment Plant

Umeå Wastewater Treatment Plant

Within Umeå municipality there are a total of 19 wastewater treatment plants. The largest, Umeå Wastewater Treatment Plant, takes care of wastewater from households and various businesses in Umeå and surrounding villages. Every year, it receives about 13 million cubic meters of waste water, containing about 3000 tons of organic material and about 80 tonnes of phosphorus. The process of cleaning water demands a lot of energy, but the plant also produce biogas which gives 23 000 kWh per day.

Umeå Neighbourhood Integrates All Aspects of Sustainable Urban Development

Umeå Neighbourhood Integrates All Aspects of Sustainable Urban Development

Sustainable Ålidhem in Umeå is a unique urban development project, encompassing the social, technical, environmental and economic aspects of sustainability. The objective of the project is to reduce energy usage, create a safer and more comfortable environment and transform Ålidhem into a sustainable neighbourhood.

Bioendev – The Biocoal Company

Bioendev – The Biocoal Company

Developer and supplier of high-tech systems for cost efficient pre-treatment of biomass for use in heat and power generation, conversion to liquid fuels and production of green chemicals. Based on over ten years of research, BioEndev has developed an innovative torrefaction technology for production of black pellets. With over 10 patents we have a unique technology with high process control and availability. Black pellets resembles fossile coal in many ways but is renewable and carbon neutral. Black pellets are hydrophobic and has up to 50% higher energy density compared to white pellets. Apart from offering Commercial Scale torrefation units together with our EPC partner, Bioendev offers long-term offtake-contracts of Black Pellets in our Industrial Demonstration Plant in Holmsund, Sweden, which has a capacity of 16 000 tons/year. We also offer test batches of Black Pellets for industrial trials as well as tests of different raw materials.

Green Zone – a Unique Model for Circular Management of Waste, Water and Energy

Green Zone – a Unique Model for Circular Management of Waste, Water and Energy

Green Zone is a unique pioneering project, proving that it’s possible to create an almost waste-free environment even when building and operating services like a car wash and petrol station. The synergy-based solutions for air, light, energy and water make Green Zone a centre for learning about circular sustainability.

Gimonäs Recyclingcenter

Gimonäs Recyclingcenter

At Gimonäs Recycling Center the households can submit their bulky waste, garden waste and the hazardous waste at no additional charge. The municipal company, Vakin, owns and operates seven recycling centers in Umeå municipality and one in Vindeln municipality.

Umeå’s CHP Plant Sets New Standard in Turning Waste into Power

Umeå’s CHP Plant Sets New Standard in Turning Waste into Power

The generation of both district heating and electricity almost entirely from waste makes the Dåva CHP (combined heat and power) plant extremely energy efficient and environmentally sustainable. Its renewable sources include sorted waste and forest industry residues.

Wooden bridge Älvsbacka

Wooden bridge Älvsbacka

The Älvsbacka Bridge in Skellefteå is one of many pedestrian bridges constructed by Martinsons since the end of the 1980s.
The enviromental benefits frome construction in wood is just one of many. Wooden pedestrian bridges have many advantages over other bridge types:
High level of prefabrication
– Fast assembly times
– Minimal inconvenience to traffic with bridge spanning a road
– Low costs for transport and laying the foundation
– Documented quality and service life
– Competitive prices

Biogas plant Tuvan, Skellefteå

Biogas plant Tuvan, Skellefteå

The municipalty of Skellefteå collect waste from homes and workplaces and produces there own biogasfuell for use in the municipality cars and in the public buses.

Combined heat and power plant Hedensbyn

Combined heat and power plant Hedensbyn

CHP Plant

Hedensbyn was Skellefteå Kraft’s first bioenergy combine when it started operations in 1996 and has been a world leader in the development of modern bioenergy technology ever since.

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