What we're working on
Our portfolio is carefully composed to ensure a balance between short term initiatives aimed at improving existing core business and long-term activities designed to explore new business models.
Exploring new business initiatives
The transport sector accounts for a substantial share of CO2 emissions worldwide. Through advanced biofuels manufactured from non-food biomass, there is a potential for substituting fossil fuels with renewable alternatives and contributing to decarbonising the transportation sector. Silva Green Fuel, a joint venture between Statkraft and Södra, is currently building a biofuel demonstration plant for production of advanced, second generation biofuel.
Hydrogen for green industry and transportation
Green hydrogen has the potential to replace fossil fuels to generate electricity and heat, as fuel for heavy transportation and as a raw material in industrial processes and products. With a storage capacity that is significantly higher than batteries while also reducing climate-damaging CO2 emissions, hydrogen can play a key role in future energy systems and we are also studying how fuel cell technology and ammonia can contribute to zero emission energy systems.
Rune Gjessing, CEO in Silva Green Fuel and Head of Biofuels in Statkraft.
Increasing competitiveness and meeting flexibility demands
At the forefront of wind and solar technology
To grow our wind and solar business, we are focusing on strengthening Statkraft’s competitiveness for future investments. Within wind power, we are working diligently to both reduce cost and increase production over the lifetime of the wind farm. We need to test new innovative solutions and develop tools and methods to improve site selection and optimise operation and maintenance. In solar, we aim to be on top of emerging technologies, develop tools to support our technology and site selection, and develop simulation and optimisation tools for plant design.
Increasing the life expectancy of our assets
As our Nordic hydropower portfolio ages and needs increasing levels of maintenance, we are developing solutions for more effective and efficient operations to increase the life expectancy of parts and components in our power plants. Statkraft is the driving force in Nordic hydropower research, but we are also applying our experience and expertise to our wind, solar and hydropower assets beyond the Nordics. Some of our focus areas include sediment management in reservoirs, models and tools to support optimized lifetime strategies and turbine performance and troubleshooting powered by artificial intelligence.
New market models
Energy management is our key tool for optimising power production from our own and our customers’ assets. To remain leading within energy management, our market models must be fit for the future. We are currently initiating updating our market and dispatch models across all our markets and technologies to ensure robustness, flexibility and scalability.
With intermittent energy on the rise, the short-term energy markets have become much more difficult to predict and the need to be able to make quick and correct decisions is more important than ever. By combining the technology of algorithmic trading with artificial intelligence and machine learning to fully automate the trading process, we can improve the speed and accuracy of our trades and create more value for our customers. We are currently working on developing a fully automatable trading platform and trading algorithms for our products.
Meeting flexibility demands
Further develop hydropower solutions to provide flexibility
As intermittent technologies such as wind and solar are on the rise, we are increasingly focusing on how we can optimise our hydropower plants to maximise flexibility. The aim is to provide a steady and reliable power supply, but it will require us to operate our power plants differently. We are also focusing on developing system services from wind power, such as active power balancing control.
Research on increased flexibility with EU Horizon2020 projects
Statkraft participates in two of the EU's Horizon2020 hydropower development projects. The projects both aim at the development of technologies and solutions providing flexible energy production.
Storage and hybrid solutions for wind and solar
Hybrid solutions that combine our different renewable energy sources can be the solution to reliable and affordable energy supply. We are looking into the feasibility and competitiveness of storage and hybrid solutions for wind and solar and we are also currently testing a new floating solar plant on one of our hydropower reservoirs in Albania.
Coding day in the algorithmic trading team at Statkraft.
Solving climate and environment challenges
Climate change adaptation
The climate is changing. Many of our innovation activities are geared towards mitigating the effects of climate change, but we are also focused on adapting our business to the inevitable. Through thorough research and development, we are working to improve the climate resilience of our facilities as well as the knowledge basis for our future investment decisions. Within hydropower, our primary focus is on the effects of climate change on hydrology and how we can mitigate the negative and leverage the positive effects.
Improving the climate, environmental and social performance of our operations
Although renewable energy is climate friendly, it might lead to other environmental impacts. A significant focus in our innovation and R&D initiatives is therefore increasing our knowledge about climate, environmental and social consequences of our operations and balancing these with the world’s need for renewable energy. We are also committed to identifying a climate neutral approach for our district heating business.
Regulated watercourses and reservoirs can be effective protection measures against flood damage as the climate changes around us.
To increase the efficiency of our renewable assets, we are exploring modern sensor technology, advanced data analyses, algorithms and machine learning to provide new insights into the state of our renewable power plants. We invest in testing new technologies on the market that have the potential to supplement or replace traditional methods, such as Remote Operated Vehicle’s (ROV) for inspections of waterways, surveillance drones, creek intakes and dams, injections to reduce cavitation, modelling of components and digital twins. The goal is to utilise the entire life expectancy of parts and components, while avoiding failures and unplanned downtime at the power plants. We also have an ambition of adding value to our energy management through machine learning algorithms and increased automation.