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

  • a group of people sitting at a table using a laptop computer

    4 reasons Citrix and Windows Virtual Desktop are better together for education

    Educational institutions all over the world experience a huge transformation. We are all familiar with the impact of COVID-19 on digitization in education, but there are more challenges. The digitization challenges faced by educational institutions   Because of the measures against the COVID-19 pandemic, like lockdowns and social distancing, the trend of online or blended […]

  • Girl studying

    Secondary school Kirchdorf: Reimagining hybrid learning with Surface and Teams

    “What we really wanted to achieve was simplicity for both our students and our educators. Through our digitalization efforts, we’ve seen that using technology to complement traditional teaching and learning is an investment for the future, not just for children, but for everyone.” Martin Schnetzer, teacher and IT admin at Mittelschule Kirchdorf, Austria, reflects on […]

Finance & Insurance

  • Two people wearing a suit and tie smiling at the camera

    Why the bank of the future is in the cloud

    Financial services company Belfius will transfer all of its banking services to the cloud over the next seven years. This initiative is an important pillar in the company’s strategy to adapt to the changing needs of its customers – making its processes more cost-effective, safe and sustainable. This is a pioneering step for Belfius. In […]

  • a view of a city

    Harvesting data helps save water

    With more than 140 years of history, the financial service company Ibercaja is deeply invested in the north-east region of Spain. In order to support its rural clients and solve the local water scarcity problems, the company now helps farmers to digitally transform their crop management. Key to this transformation are “Internet of Things“ enabled […]

Government

  • a woman sitting on a sidewalk

    How to digitally transform citizen services

    “Having a website, call centre and information desk isn’t enough. Citizen services need to be streamlined to empower citizens and government employees alike.” The eBook ‘The digital transformation of citizen services’ is honest in its appraisal of the urgent challenge facing governments worldwide, whose citizens expect their digital experiences to match the quality of those […]

  • A man sitting at a table using a laptop

    Four common challenges governments face in a time of crisis

    This blog focuses on best practice and solutions for working from home, engaging with citizens, gaining situational awareness and staying secure.

Healthcare

Manufacturing

Retail

  • A close up of a hand sewing leather

    Taking design beyond aesthetics with Natuzzi

    Design is more than an aesthetic. It defines the way we see the world. Take the objects we have in our homes. They are more than just tables, chairs and sofas; collectively they are a window into the way we see ourselves, each item selected against a personalised criteria of practicality, comfort, status and cost. […]

  • Female and male first line workers standing on sales floor in commercial retail store, in front of a wall-mounted monitor. She is using an Acer convertible laptop (folded open as a tablet) to navigate through images on monitor screen which shows product ads for home furnishings.

    Re-imagine Retail: Intelligent supply chain

    This webinar explores the need for supply chain transparency and why the ability to take quick actions based on real time data is growing.

Discover more related articles per dossier:

Customer Stories

  • A woman undergoing a scan

    Predictive maintenance is improving quality of life for cancer patients

    With cancer affecting more than 17 million people annually, a figure set to rise dramatically in the coming years, efficient and cost-effective treatment is essential. Since deploying Microsoft Azure IoT, IBA Worldwide, a leading developer of medical equipment for cancer treatment, has been able to reduce the cost of maintenance and improve repair times for […]

Digital Transformation

  • Whitepaper: Retail Insights – Harnessing the Power of Data

    Whitepaper: Retail Insights – Harnessing the Power of Data

    The retail industry contributes a significant portion to the GDP of many countries, employs tens of millions of people and touches nearly everyone. In order to gain insight at a particularly volatile time for the industry, we recently conducted a survey with 100 retail executives to gain insight into their business challenges and learn about […]

Security & Privacy

Tips

  • Group of two female and one male office workers brainstorming in informal office setting. Both women are using laptops while the man is writing. Large screen shown in background.

    2019 Modern Selling Trends in 5 webinars

    The relationship between buyers and sellers grows more complicated each day. Every potential partnership requires finding the right buyer, fully understanding their business, tracking progress through the buying cycle, and engaging them with the right content—when and how they want it. These shifting dynamics underscore the artistry of modern selling. When the time is right, […]