Meet Pumped Hydro’s energy market analyst Mikael Bergmark, who gives his thoughts on what sustainability really is about, and about the prerequisites for the energy transition.
Tell us a little about Yourself
I’m a recently graduated environmental-, and energy engineer, with a profound interest in sustainability. I’ve been curious about technology and sustainability since I was a kid, and over time it has just deepened. Enrolling at Lund University Faculty of Engineering for my engineering degree felt like the right thing for me, with my masters focusing toward energy.
The energy sector is the largest contributor to the emissions of greenhouse gases and thus the sustainability impact potential in this is vast. I am also fascinated about how fast the energy industry and market is currently transforming – it has to change, and this change was needed yesterday. I feel that every day brings a new solution or policy that you have to be up to date with, in order to optimize your performance on the market which is very inspiring.
Why do You work for Pumped Hydro Storage?
I wrote my master’s thesis about a very specific part of the electricity market, which is frequency regulation. When I graduated and was looking for a job I stumbled upon Pumped Hydro Storage and saw an opportunity to work within the field of frequency regulation, and on top of that with a sustainable energy storage solution. In my opinion, sustainable and large-scale energy storage is a prerequisite for the energy transition. By working for Pumped Hydro Storage I can make a difference and work with something I am really passionate about.
What is sustainability to You?
It is a really broad concept, but in its essence, it is all about living and being responsible in order to enable future generations to live a good and sound life. There are three sides of sustainability; a social, ecological and economical. Sustainability is my framework for my everyday life, and I am particularly interested in the ecological part of it. It is important for me to know that I am positively impacting the sustainability of the world.
What are the most important drivers for the energy transition?
One important aspect is that we need to have financial incentives strong enough to enable investments in the energy system. The prices of installed wind power have nearly halved during the last decade, and a big reason for this is that its installation and production costs have been subsidized. This way, investors dared to back early projects so that the technology and installation costs could decrease.
Today land based wind power can be built without any subsidies. It is naïve to think that new technologies must be able to compete financially from start with old technologies that has been developed (and often subsidized) for a decade. Today, coal-fueled energy accounts for 28 % of the global CO2emissions, and to enable the transition to renewables, we will need stronger economic incentives for storage. The storage market is today where wind was ten years ago and in order for it to help facilitate the renewable transition, it needs economic incentives. I think pumped hydro storage is a true enabler for fossil free production which supports a transmission grid that can manage more intermittent power production.