Nordic Energy Solutions for the Green Transition” is the first call within the Nordic Grand Solutions Programme. According to Helena Sarén, Head of Zero Carbon Future Mission at Business Finland as well as Board member of Nordic Energy Research, the Nordics need to stand up and take global leadership by proving that the change is doable in a sustainable and human-focused way.

“The Nordic region is pretty much the only area in the world where several countries are able to solve the global challenges together, by involving citizens in the green transition. We need to lead by examples, and the ‘Nordic Energy Solutions for the Green Transition’ call acts as such an example,” says Sarén.

In this interview with Sarén, she explains why the call is important and what impact the programme can have in support of sustainability and co-operation.

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Sign up for the call webinar with focus on the call portal and Q/A
on 5 September at 14:00 (CEST)

Helena Sarén, Head of Zero Carbon Future Emission at Business Finland and Board member of Nordic Energy Research

Sustainability as a societal backbone

Sarén highlights that co-operation and Nordic values can really enable globally successful solutions to challenges all over the world. In this context, the “Nordic Energy Solutions for the Green Transition” call holds great potential.

“As the Nordic co-operation intensifies, the co-operation outside the region can also be intensified and thereby support the global presence and growth of Nordic businesses,” says Sarén. “We need to continue to cherish our values on our route toward carbon neutrality. Sustainability by design and values could enable new technologies, services, and business models for speeding up the energy transition – in the Nordics as well as internationally.”

Challenging but hopeful

There are many opportunities within the window of the “Nordic Energy Solutions for the Green Transition” call. Sarén shares her hopes regarding such opportunities.

“I would very much like to see ecosystems that operate in the cross-sectoral fields and utilize digitalization and circularity to their full potential. Additionally, the human aspect e.g., behavioural change, would be an advantage,” says Sarén.

However, there are challenges on the path toward carbon neutrality – although the Nordics are apt to lead the way.

“The challenges and wicked problems in the world are so crosscutting that no country and no single company can solve them alone. The ultimate challenge is how to pave the way to carbon neutrality and at the same time safeguard future competitiveness, sustainability, biodiversity, and environment. Affordability and societal challenges play a crucial role in this development. These tracks are in the need of new innovations and solutions,” says Sarén.

This is where the “Nordic Energy Solutions for the Green Transition” call comes in.

“A significant amount of innovation needs to take place on a global level to carry us to carbon neutrality. The solutions need participation from all areas of societies, namely public, private, and people. Nordics are well positioned, not only via their ambitious climate targets and policies but also via their committed and climate-oriented industries, strong competencies and RDI entities. The Nordics can really highlight the importance of open and transparent co-operation for leveraged results. At the same time, we can strengthen Nordics societies resilience and competitiveness in the ever-changing world. Together we are stronger. Nordic Energy Research is aiming at enabling solution creation and at the same time contributing to the transition towards a sustainable and integrated region,” says Sarén.