Tailoring energy solutions for Finnish industry: meet Statkraft’s experts
A strong team for Finland's green transition - Meet the team that has been working for more than 15 years to create tailor-made energy products for Finnish industry and utilities. In this article we introduce them and explain how they work together: united by a strong commitment to the customer.
We meet Fredrik Åkerlund at Statkraft Finland's offices in Espoo. Since 2020, the Senior Originator has been working on complex power purchase agreements (PPAs) and renewable energy products for Finnish energy-intensive industries and utilities from here. His work, he stresses, would not be possible without a great deal of teamwork: “Doing what we do involves about 10 colleagues in the Nordics. We have, for example, one “guest star” working from the Oslo office, Raissa Nirvi, and my fellow Senior Originator colleague Heikki Herttuainen, working alongside me in Espoo. Frode Berntsen, manager for our Nordics team, also supported the opening of the new office and has long-standing experience in the market.”
The team brings together power producers and industrial companies from all over Europe and develops new innovative concepts. In Finland, Statkraft offers PPAs to industrial and commercial companies as well as to project developers and investors, enabling the financing of new renewable power plants.
In recent years, the energy crisis and the war between Russia and Ukraine have created a turbulent energy market, which has also affected Statkraft's core market in Finland, the PPA business. Åkerlund describes the changing times: "The last few years have been, let's say, interesting to work in the energy sector. What we saw was a lot of uncertainty in the market, which was also reflected in our customers: Fluctuating prices created uncertainty about whether to commit to a PPA. Price levels have risen over the historic averages, leading to reluctance to close PPAs. But those changes have also changed the PPA market in an interesting way.”
The PPA market is entering a phase of sophistication
He believes the market is entering a new phase of PPAs: "I think we're past the point where a simple PPA, is what customers want. Increasingly, we need to work hard to create innovative solutions where seller and buyer of energy can meet in a place where they both find benefits.” He expects a new wave of interest in PPAs in the beginning of the year, as prices stabilise further. The uncertainty of the last few years, especially the winters, Åkerlund explains, has led customers to look for energy suppliers who can take on certain forms of risk.
After a phase of establishing them as a product in energy procurement, the Senior Originator and Office Manager for Finland argues that PPAs are now going through a phase of sophistication: “What makes them so effective is the ability to tailor them to customers’ needs. This requires a market integrator like Statkraft, who can do this and can act on behalf of the customer: As their agent in the market and as an innovator. We have the portfolio and the expertise, as well as a cross-functional and cross-geographical team.”
Åkerlund continues: “Statkraft has a long history in Finland. We have built a strong portfolio of producers and consumers, and we provide standard and non-standard products, based on the need of the customer. In other words: We integrate customers, we agree on the allocation of responsibilities, and we address the risks associated with production and consumption. If problems arise, we solve them together – that's Statkraft for you.”
Innovation meets constancy
At a time when many new players are entering the energy market, he explains that customers are recognising the value of working with Statkraft, especially in the long term: "We want to provide as much certainty as possible in an environment that can sometimes seem uncertain. Working with Statkraft as a counterparty means that what we agree is backed by a very strong credit rating of A (S&P) and almost 130 years of experience. With that in mind, and with us as a partner, we hope to make our customers' prospects more certain.”
The ambition to find the best solution for their customers is something that unites the team. In their efforts, Fredrik Åkerlund and Heikki Herttuainen are backed by a strong group of experts with experience from all over the Nordics: “Only together with our customers will we continue to develop the PPA market further.”
"Only together with our customers will we continue to develop the PPA market further."
"We aim to assist our customers who are pioneering new green hydrogen businesses, such as transport, shipping, and steelmaking, in navigating the complex regulations."
Max Andrews – Head of Nordic Environmental Products
Max Andrews, Head of Nordic Environmental Products, manages Statkraft’s asset portfolio and third-party origination volumes in the Nordics and helps customers with their scope 1, 2 and 3 requirements. He is also an expert for green hydrogen, which is becoming ever more interesting to Finnish industrials as a means of decarbonising their operations.
“The EU’s green hydrogen targets are ambitious – but crucial for meeting our emission goals. We aim to assist our customers who are pioneering new green hydrogen businesses, such as transport, shipping, and steelmaking, in navigating the complex regulations. Our goal is to help these innovators bring new businesses and consumption to the Nordics, as well as provide solutions for existing industrials. We provide them with robust and mutually beneficial Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) and give them information and certainty they need to make financial investment decisions for their projects.
Leveraging our expertise from years of work in Norway and Sweden, we can apply our proven strategies to Finland, helping existing and new industrial customers within the Finnish market.”
"As a team, we focus on solutions that bring mutual value, taking on volume and profile risks, agreeing on ceiling prices, and developing measures to handle volatility in the Nordic energy system."
Erik Bergström – Team Leader Customer Risk Management
Erik Bergström, Team Leader for Customer Risk Management, brings a broad Nordic perspective into the Origination activities in Finland.
"Our expertise lies in the heavy industry in the Nordics, with a deep understanding of different industries. Our customers often operate across several of the Nordic countries, allowing us to offer multi-location solutions for industries including paper, chemicals, automotive, steel and many more.
We work closely with our customers to understand their requirements and goals, which are complex. In the last few years, we’ve seen a marked green shift in Finland, with increased interest in PPA in the heavy industry. As a team, we focus on solutions that bring mutual value, taking on volume and profile risks, agreeing on ceiling prices, and developing measures to handle volatility in the Nordic energy system. Our team is dedicated to developing new products and innovatively combining existing ones. This innovation is a key aspect we bring to discussions with industrials.”
"The needs of power producers often differ from those of the offtakers. Our team bridges this gap."
Ketil Hovland - Team Leader Upstream Origination
Ketil Hovland, Team Leader for Upstream Origination, is an expert in harmonizing the needs of energy producers and large consumers from various industries.
“With Finland’s growing activities in wind and solar energy production, the needs of power producers often differ from those of the offtakers. Our team bridges this gap to satisfy both sides. Providing our clients with reliability and certainty are paramount to us. Despite witnessing market participants come and go, we have remained active in Finland for over 15 years – we are here to stay.
Our approach involves sitting down with our customers to truly understand their needs. This collaborative effort allows us to find or develop the right solutions, offering the flexibility our customers value. While tendering processes can be restrictive, we’re seeing more customers appreciate the value of negotiation and joint idea development. Through our experience, we combine a long-term view, reliability, flexibility, and innovation.”
Contact our experts to find out how they can help you with your energy needs.
Fredrik ÅkerlundSenior Originator Finland
Heikki HerttuainenSenior Originator Finland
Erik BergströmTeam Leader Customer Risk Management
Max AndrewsHead of Nordic Environmental Products
Ketil HovlandTeam Leader Upstream Origination