Sweden’s first nuclear-only electricity supplier, Kärnfull Energi, begun operations today. In connection to this, the company also unveiled two of their new advisory board members: José Gonzalez, singer/songwriter and effective altruist, and Dr Klara Insulander Björk of Chalmers University of Technology. The board will help allocate the company’s annual innovation donation, generated by Kärnfull’s yearly kWh sales and other revenue streams.
Earlier this summer, Kärnfull announced its ambition to become the first electricity supplier dedicated to only providing 100% nuclear power — the world’s leading low-carbon, reliable base-load energy source. Founded by Christian Sjölander and John Ahlberg, two rational environmentalists and friends with long careers in investments and digital security. The Kärnfull initiative, on top of proving market demand and civil action thru electricity sales, aims to improve dinner conversations everywhere by making nuclear, and its key role in fighting climate change, more understandable.
In order to achieve this, one key priority has been to affiliate the Kärnfull brand with a group of advisors with know-how, interest and large platforms. In total, eight great advisors have joined and will be revealed over the next few weeks — starting today. The advisors cover a wide variety of expertise but generally the idea is that they should represent the company’s customers: climate- and/or tech-enthusiasts with a sincere belief in the power of nuclear and associated science to address the challenges ahead.
José Gonzalez is globally one of Sweden’s most successful and renowned singer/songwriters, whose songs (incl. “Heartbeats”, “Stay Alive”, “Crosses”) have touched peoples’ hearts all over the world ever since his 2003 debut. José is also a philanthropist, choosing his charities based on the learnings of effective altruism — the international social movement within which you use evidence and critical thinking to identify the most efficient ways of improving the world.
“I’ve been involved in effective altruism, i.e. the effort of using evidence and reason to help others as much as possible, for quite some time now. After reading up on matters concerning energy, especially via Qvist/Goldstein’s book “A Bright Future” and Vaclav Smils’ “Energy and Civilization”, I’ve come to understand nuclear powers’ important role in addressing climate change as the key base load power to complement renewables.
The world likely only gets one shot at becoming fossil-free, removing our most effective tool from the toolbox in that equation makes no sense. While we wait for even better solutions, nuclear energy has proven to be the most secure and eco-friendly of all sources, with the least amount of carbon-dioxide emissions per produced kWh. As the world aspires to equip our growing population with fossil-free transportation, steel production etc. we need lots of affordable, reliable, green energy.
Karnfull addresses this point in a good way, unpolitical, humbly and fact-based, making it easy for me to say yes”, says Jose Gonzalez.
Dr Klara Insulander Björk is a researcher at Chalmers University of Technology in Goteborg, teaching Engineering Physics. Her field of research is plasma physics, and in particular the phenomenon called "electron runaway" which may occur in tokamak plasmas. She has previously worked with different aspects of fission power production; fission reactor physics, manufacture and testing of novel nuclear fuel types and chemical properties of these fuel materials. Klara is also deeply involved in the establishment and coordination of a national competence center for radiation science (SAINT).
“Considering that I have spent my entire career researching nuclear engineering, I am well acquainted with its many aspects. Based on this knowledge I can safely say that nuclear power is a secure and environmentally-friendly source of energy. Mankind must go full-speed ahead in producing electricity without carbon-dioxide, and Kärnfull fills an important purpose in helping nuclear by donating to constructive projects, and giving consumers the chance to actively show their support.
As a researcher my ambition is to spread knowledge about nuclear, and Kärnfull provides me with an additional platform to do this”, says Klara Insulander Björk.
The advisory board will meet annually to review the donation and reach a decision on three candidates that deserve extra attention and financial support. The final decision will then be made by popular vote by Kärnfull’s customers with potential recipients being anything from start-ups, scholarships to climate initiatives or specific research. The main criteria being that options all are rational and effective, and associated with nuclear.
“Kärnfull believes that Sweden should transform into becoming a leading country in next-generation nuclear, and with the tailwind of public opinion — 78% of Swedes are positive to maintained or new power plants — we hope to be able to reach, and attract, as many customers as possible in order to prove market demand for nuclear in Sweden. Our amazing advisors will likely be very helpful in doing so”, said Christian Sjölander, founder Kärnfull.
The rapid electrification of society and industry, incl. vehicles, mean that Swedish electricity demand is expected to increase 60% by 2040. In the meantime Sweden, in accordance with its current Energy agreement, has opted to phase out its nuclear fleet — the cornerstone in the country’s climate-smart electrical grid for over 40 years — without any real plans to build new plants. Meanwhile, globally nuclear energy startups, and larger companies, are picking up speed via substantial research and development investments. Likely thanks to nuclear’s unique characteristic as the lowest-emission source of base-load power able to be built anywhere in the world.
To date, more than 40% of EU:s electricity production originates from fossil fuels. Globally that number is closer to 80%. In order to reach the climate goals of 2030 and 2050 in accordance with the Paris agreement the amount of carbon-dioxide in the atmosphere needs to be dramatically decreased, with vast amounts of new nuclear — together with renewable sources and CCS — being the best way of achieving the targets.
“Sweden enjoys unique conditions to operate large-scale, modern nuclear power, and Kärnfull wants to help revitalise discussions and contribute to our country pivoting to take on a long-term responsibility of providing climate-friendly and reliable energy to the EU. We cannot have too much clean energy in the electrified future, both in terms of export opportunities and the ability to host new energy-intense industries such as data centers and battery factories.” said John Ahlberg, founder Kärnfull.
Kärnfull Energi is a part of Kärnfull Future AB, a wholly-owned company by founders Christian Sjölander and John Ahlberg. Kärnfull Energi is an electricity supplier (broker), and hence not an electricity producer that could influence supply and demand on the electricity market. The company, on top of proving market demand and civil action thru electricity sales, aims to improve dinner conversations everywhere by making nuclear power, and its key role in fighting climate change, more understandable and likeable. Follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, @karnfull. For tweets in English: @karnfull_en.