When Sweden takes over the EU chair in July 2009, climate, energy and environment will be high on the agenda. During a trip to Göteborg on June 5, Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt visited a brand-new wind-power station in the city’s Gårdsten suburb. The wind turbine was built and is owned by power supplier Göteborgs Energi, and the electricity the station produces will supply the needs of the local population.
And it is thanks to an initiative from the Volvo Group that the wind-power station was constructed. One day, Gunnar Bengtsson received a phone call from a total stranger, an Indian man who wanted to sell a new type of wind turbine for generating electricity.
“He’d heard about our shift to carbon dioxide-neutral factories. Our factory in Ghent receives electricity from wind turbines and our factory in Tuve in Göteborg is waiting for a permission to build wind-power stations. In the long term we want to make all our factories climate-neutral,” says Gunnar Bengtsson, who is responsible for energy and climate related issues at Volvo Group.
Image: The Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt listens to Gunnar Bengtsson, from Environmental and Public Affairs at the Volvo Group.
The Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt is supportive of the Volvo’s efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
”I encourage all corporations, as well as nations and individuals, to revise their impact on the climate. It is gratifying to see that many Swedish corporations are taking the lead in that development. And renewable energy sources do play an important role”, he says.
Just then, however, Volvo could not offer a geographical location for the new Indian wind-power station. Instead, Gunnar Bengtsson introduced the supplier, Kenersys, to Göteborgs Energi. Volvo has a long history of good cooperation with Göteborg Energi, and they bought the idea.
“Over the years, Volvo has helped facilitate contacts with decision-makers and referral bodies. Now the wind turbine is there, and it will start producing electricity this summer.”
The Volvo Group’s dedication and work with the wind-power station is entirely in line with the company’s focus on energy issues.
“Volvo is doing this for the sake of the environment and for the sake of Göteborg. We believe it benefits wind-power if a new supplier gets to test a prototype in Göteborg,” says Gunnar Bengtsson.
More images are available at the Volvo Group's image gallery.
Kenersys, the Indian supplier, is owned by the Kalyani Group, whose subsidiary Bharat Forge supplies front axles to Volvo.