Fossil-Free Hydrogen Can Be Key To Reduced Carbon Dioxide Emissions In Sweden

Image of Vattenfall offshore wind development project.

Image of Vattenfall offshore wind development project. Credit: Twitter@Vattenfall_Se

Sweden is looking to play its part in combatting climate change by making the switch to switch to fossil-free hydrogen.

According to Karl Bergman, head of research at Vattenfall, the conversion could save Sweden approximately eight million tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year.

Approximately one-sixteenth of global greenhouse gas emissions are generated by Europe, while China – which is the single country that emits the most – accounts for around 25 per cent.

Sweden’s contribution to global emissions may seem modest – at only one per thousand – but as a leading industrial nation and mature economy, Sweden can ultimately play a central role in the fight against climate change.

By making adjustments, the development in other countries such as China, the USA and India can be influenced. In addition, it could be an increasingly important competitive advantage to be able to deliver products that do not harm the climate, stressed Bergman.

Vattenfall recently introduced a product for which it teamed up with Cara Delevingne, the climate advocate and supermodel. In a tweet, they explained: “The Industrial Emissions Face Mist, a moisturising face mist made entirely from industrial emissions from a plant using fossil-free hydrogen”.

Vattenfall is scaling up the technology

One part of this global struggle is Vattenfall’s work to scale up the technology used for the production and use of fossil-free hydrogen.

Vattenfall runs a number of development collaborations together with other firms. These include companies in the iron and steel industry, plus refineries for the production of electrofuels used for air transport.

Bergman stated: “Fossil-free hydrogen will be used to replace coal and natural gas in the iron and steel industry (within the technology development company HYBRIT) and in oil refineries. They account for large emissions of climate gases both in Sweden and internationally”.

Bergman sees potential in the aviation and shipping sectors

Karl Bergman also sees potential in the aviation and shipping sectors and mentioned fertiliser production as another area where hydrogen can reduce emissions.

There are currently companies looking at re-establishing fertiliser production in Sweden, based on fossil-free hydrogen. According to Bergman, the technology for fossil-free hydrogen is essentially fully developed.

“The big challenges are more about business development than technology development, that is, creating the conditions for large-scale investments. As part of the HYBRIT investment, we have, among other things, built a hydrogen storage underground, in the bedrock in connection with the HYBRIT pilot”, he explained.

How will the transition to fossil-free hydrogen affect Sweden’s quest for a fossil-free society?

Hydrogen is an “absolutely necessary piece of the puzzle” to reach the goal of a fossil-free society, stressed Bergman. Not only for its direct impact on emissions but also for its potential role in driving the transition in other sectors and countries he added.

“In the near future, freedom from fossil fuels will be an essential prerequisite for competitiveness for large parts of Swedish industry”, he concluded, as reported by

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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at