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Sumitomo SHI FW aims for a carbon-neutral future

The Espoo-based Japanese company wants to enable reliable renewable energy in Finland.  Sumitomo SHI FW (SFW) is a technology company built around Finnish technology expertise. International operations in 14 countries are led from its headquarters in Espoo.

One of our key objectives is to enable reliable, round-the-clock access to clean energy. The most important missing link is long-term, high-capacity storage of renewable energy,
Tomas Harju-Jeanty

Energy storage provides stability to electricity grids

Conventional electricity grid systems are built to receive energy in a steady flow, but renewable energy production is intermittent by nature. SFW and technology partner Highview Power are developing a solution using Liquified Air Energy Storage (LAES) technology. The technology will bring additional stability to the grid and increase the potential for wind power.

By 2025, Finland will have around 9,000 MW of wind power capacity and around 4,400 MW of nuclear power, which is difficult to use for load following. With our current electricity consumption in Finland, ranging from 5,300 to 14,300 MW, the share of wind power will rise up to 100 % and the stability of the electricity grid could be jeopardised. In the event of grid disturbances, the lack of inertia in wind power can cause the grid to collapse.

LAES allows both stored energy and inertia to be fed into the grid by using turbine generators. With large LAES storages, the share of renewable energy can be safely increased, while ensuring grid stability without relying on conventional power plants,
Upma Koul
VP, Energy Storage

Collaboration is central to overcome climate change

While technology companies have traditionally developed new technologies on their own, SFW actively collaborates with start-ups, technology companies and research institutes, drawing on international expertise. The first LAES facilities will be operational in Japan and the UK in 2025.

In the fight against the energy crisis and climate change, there is not enough time to develop new technologies alone, solutions are needed now. Cooperation is essential for success," says Harju-Jeanty.

Original author: Maria Vakkanen.

The article was originally published in Finnish in Kauppalehti Optio magazine on December 14, 2022.