A photo of trees
Read Time, 3 min.

One Swedish utility company is undergoing a journey in energy innovation―empowered by dynamic collaborations and AI technology.

Frosty commutes from work in wintery Nordic cities are endured knowing that a toasty home awaits. Keeping city energy consumption steadily regulated is key, not just for an economical and warm home for residents, but to minimise environmental impact as global cities continue to grow.

Utility company Mälarenergi is taking an innovative approach to keeping homes reliably heated in a rapidly changing society. Providing vital infrastructure and core energy services to Västerås, Sweden’s fifth largest city, Mälarenergi aims to provide a more intelligent service to consumers. Using the AI-enabled Azure platform, Mälarenergi is digitising and automating district heating production to best manage the increasing demands on the grid and optimise their energy production.

“I used to say there’s only one constant in the universe―and that is change,” says Henrik Wickström, Project Manager IT at Mälarenergi.
“We need to rethink our industry and our purpose in society. We need to handle that change.”

Mälarenergi is leading the way in transformation of the energy market in the Nordics. Using Microsoft Azure as a platform, the Smart Flow project employs a holistic approach to the digitalisation of their services. Collecting three years of energy data across their entire network, they conducted user studies and collated many other data sources―like weather patterns, distribution times and social behaviors.

“Optimising our production processes, distribution and better understanding our customers’ needs requires powerful digital solutions,” says Henrik on the Mälarenergi company blog. “Microsoft Azure has the solutions we need to gather everything together in one place.”

Digitisation and collaboration, the key to change

Henrik Wickström places a great emphasis on the collaborative process that has been central to their digital transformation. Leveraging intelligent cloud technology is enabling external collaboration by unifying, collecting and managing this huge volume of data from multiple service providers, regardless of what third-party technology that service is using. Being able to collaborate with statistical and system experts, RICE SICS, has propelled the analytical depth of the project to the next level.

By harvesting over a billion data points, comprised of diverse and encompassing statistics, Mälarenergi has constructed predictive AI algorithms within Azure’s suite. The overall objective: intelligently optimise the production of district heating, so as to avoid overproduction while being prepared for high-usage times.

“AI technology is a game changer when it comes to making predictions.”
Henrik Wickström, Project Manager IT, Mälarenergi

The work is extremely complex, and is only achieved with a framework that can handle this enormous amount of data. The algorithms can generate predictions which will then directly inform the power plants, significantly lowering the chance of an oversupply or undersupply.

“The goal is for the customer to be able to purchase a service in the form of comfortable indoor heating that can be individualised.” says Henrik.

The statistical insights generated from the Smart Flow project are being used to empower better decision-making, including industrial customers using these services. With new ways to learn, adjust, improve and continuously work on their roadmap, technology is an important catalyst for Mälarenergi to enact wider industry improvements.

“Either we sit down, lean back in our chair, and let the industry change for us – or we be the one who changes the industry.”

Free AI report: Artificial Intelligence in Western Europe - How 277 major European companies benefit from AI

Discover how your Western European peers use AI to digitally transform their organization

Discover more related articles per industry:

Education

Finance & Insurance

Government

Healthcare

  • two people working in a lab

    Terumo migrates its SAP environment from ‘on-premise’ to Azure

    Terumo, a major player in the healthcare industry, has been active for nearly 100 years – and operating from Belgium for 50. The global company is a leading provider of medical devices, from hypodermic needles and stents, to life-saving heart and lung machines. Recently, the company’s EMEA headquarters fully migrated its SAP Enterprise Resource Planning […]

  • Scientist looking at a screen with data

    European Health Data Space aims to unleash the full potential of health data

    Background A key challenge in healthcare today is that both patients and clinicians have difficulty accessing the health data they need. This has multiple implications. For patients, it prevents them playing a more proactive role in their own care.  For clinicians, it affects their productivity and the quality of the care they can provide. In […]

Manufacturing

  • Manufacturing: the place to be for diverse talent

    Manufacturing: the place to be for diverse talent

    Manufacturing is undergoing a huge transformation. And that transformation is opening a wealth of new opportunities to bring diversity to the industry. Digital technologies are game changers for the manufacturing industry. Outokumpu has been on an inspiring journey driving its sustainability agenda through their use of data and AI. Another story that inspired Laurence Janssens is that […]

  • Man with a tattoo pointing at a tablet in a factory

    2020 has shown manufacturers the true value of digital transformation

    At the start of 2020, there were all manner of manufacturing topics to be discussed. And then suddenly, there was only one. It would be difficult to overstate the impact of Covid-19’s disruption on manufacturers. Almost across the board, this industry has seen supply chains breaking, cash ceasing to flow and production lines grinding to […]

Retail

  • How to Stay Competitive in Retail and Accelerate Business Growth?

    How to Stay Competitive in Retail and Accelerate Business Growth?

    The rise of ecommerce has been a major factor in the shift towards digital in retail with the high street increasingly becoming a less regular destination for consumers. Customers have come to expect a superior experience across multiple channels (including in-store). Maximizing customer insights requires unifying your data sources across the end-to-end buyer journey to […]

  • Woman clothes shopping

    Italy’s National Chamber of Fashion turns the Milan Fashion Week into a digital event

    Fashion brands all over the world have spent the past year reimagining the industry with a more digital mindset. The disrupting effect of COVID-19 has forced them to keep their stores shut for long months, cancel their fashion shows and make their day-to-day operations much more complex than they used to be. Yet as the […]

Discover more related articles per dossier:

Customer Stories

Digital Transformation

  • a woman sitting at a desk using a computer

    4 reasons Citrix and Windows Virtual Desktop are better together for government agencies

    Government agencies all over the world experience a huge transformation. Obviously, because of the COVID-19 pandemic the trend of remote work has taken off in ways nobody could have imagined a year ago. Since offices closed and civil servants needed to stay in their homes, remote work collaboration was the only option to continue serving […]

Security & Privacy

Tips

  • Person using gear to visualize a conversation

    From data to value: creating meaningful customer engagements

    It is hard to predict future trends, opportunities, or challenges. Keeping up with the increasing pace of change is both difficult and crucial for sustainable business. Whatever happens in the future, technology will be a key enabler of resilience and successful transformation.  This is particularly true in the retail sector, where being one step ahead […]