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BECCS advocate scoops Jan Häckner Bioenergy Award

Stockholm Exergi's district energy systems expert Dr Fabian Levihn is this year's winner of the Jan Häckner Bioenergy Award. The award ceremony took place during the Swedish Bioenergy Association (Svebio) Annual General Meeting and seminar held in Stockholm on April 6, 2022.

Cecilia Häckner (left), daughter of Jan Häckner presided the award ceremony, and Dr Fabian Levihn, recipient of Jan Häckner Bioenergy Award 2022 (photo courtesy Anders Haaker).

The award, which is in the form of a scholarship in memory of Jan Häckner, is given in recognition of an individual that through his or her efforts in research, innovation, or business development, has promoted the increased use of bioenergy in a sustainable way.

Communicative BECCS expert and advocate

A part-time researcher and docent in Industrial Management of Energy Systems at the Department of Industrial Economics (INDEK) at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Dr Fabian Levihn works at Stockholm Exergi and is responsible for part of Stockholm Exergi’s ongoing research.

Dr Levihn received the award for his efforts to develop large-scale bioenergy with carbon capture (BECCS) at Stockholm Exergi’s biomass-fired combined heat and power (CHP) plant in Värtan in Stockholm.

The BECCS @ STHLM recently secured up to EUR 180 million in support from the EU Innovation Fund.

Situated in urban Stockholm close to the Värtan ferry terminal, the innovative CHP plant uses woodchips as fuel. These are supplied primarily from northcentral Sweden by rail or imported by vessel, and the plant supplies district heat to the city of Stockholm as well as electricity to the grid.

Below is the motivation for Fabian Levihn receiving the award:

“Fabian has a doctorate in industrial economics from KTH Royal Institute of Technology, and he researches with a focus on issues of district heating and energy systems. Recently, Fabian has spent much of his time on Stockholm Exergi’s work with capturing and storing biogenic carbon dioxide (CO2), also known as BECCS or bio-CCS.

Fabian’s very good qualities in communicating and expressing himself simply and understandably have made him a representative and ambassador for carbon dioxide capture from biomass fuels. Everyone who follows news reporting has probably seen and heard Fabian talking about BECCS and Stockholm Exergi in both TV, radio, and the national daily newspapers.

Fabian generates engagement and enthusiasm among students, experts, and the general public for issues that are important for district heating and for bioenergy. Fabian is thus a role model for the younger generation and for young researchers. It is against this background that Svebio’s board has selected Fabian as the winner of Jan Häckner’s Bioenergy Award 2022.”

High-level visit to Stockholm Exergi

The award jury concluded on April 6, that Dr Fabian Levihn’s work has in a very significant way contributed to a more positive view of biomass fuel use within the European Commission.

His expertise combined with his communicative ability is something that can be of great importance for the future development of bioenergy.

On April 7, 2022, Ursula von der Leyen (left umbrella), President of the European Commission, and Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson (right umbrella) visited Stockholm Exergi for a briefing on the green energy transition and BECCS (photo courtesy Stockholm Exergi).

The following day, on April 7, Stockholm Exergi hosted a visit by President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, and Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson, to the CHP and BECCS pilot.

Stockholm Exergi is one of several good examples of how we can become independent of foreign Russian oil and gas and at the same time, advance the green transition said PM Andersson.

EC President von der Leyen described Sweden as a renewable green pioneer and that the EU has much to learn from the country’s green transition.

That is why I am especially grateful for the visit here to Stockholm Exergi. It was fascinating for me with the guided tour and to see that it is a perfect, circular district heating solution, and with the pilot project for carbon dioxide capture. This is the future we see here right now. It gives a boost to the EU’s goal of achieving climate neutrality by 2050, Ursula von der Leyen said.

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