High pace as the power grid is being updated: 'We're hiring 90 – every month!

The upgrade of the electricity network has entered a new, intensive phase. The need for expertise is acute.
– We are employing 1,000 new people this year and need to recruit another 1,000 in the coming year, says Claes Wedén, marketing manager at Hitachi Energy, who urges more people to join the industry.

Hitachi Energy is one of the leading technology providers in the electricity network industry and is participating in the stage programme at Elfack in May 2025.

– Our focus will be on the skills issue, says Claes Wedén. A lot is happening in electricity networks and energy systems right now, and it is important for us to emphasise the rapidly growing personnel needs.

He foresees enormous growth in the industry over the next 20-30 years.

– For those who are in doubt about what to train for, we want to point out the possibilities: there are jobs here, these are the professions of the future!

Approaching technical lifetime

Above all, we need to upgrade and modernise the ageing electricity network. But we also need to build completely new infrastructure, such as supply lines from offshore wind farms.

– There’s a lot of work to do. Large parts of the network were built in the 1950s and 1960s and they are beginning to reach the end of their technical lifetime, Claes Wedén says.

– All electricity network and energy companies around the country are working feverishly. This is partly to upgrade their facilities, and partly to meet the increased demand for electricity as we are expected to go from a consumption of 130 TWh to 300 TWh in 20 years.

Planning new factories

For Hitachi Energy, this means a huge need for staff and expertise.

– We are currently strengthening our operations in Sweden with around 90 people a month. This year alone, we are recruiting around 1,000 people and expect the same recruitment needs next year.

This means a significant strengthening of the company’s workforce in Västerås, Ludvika, Smedjebacken, Piteå, Landskrona and Figeholm.

– In addition, we are planning a new factory in Smedjebacken and an expansion in Ludvika, which together will increase the production of advanced power electronics valves for use in high voltage direct current transmission, HVDC and power quality applications.

Smart solutions are needed

If Sweden is to have a fossil-free energy system by 2045, the electricity grid must also be adapted to handle higher power and higher transmission capacity, Claes emphasises:

– On the electricity network side, the challenge is to remove bottlenecks. A lot of things need to be replaced: in addition to cables and wires, it’s about energy storage, switchgear, transformers and a variety of other technologies to make the grid smarter.

Claes sees great potential in streamlining control and monitoring using automation and digital system solutions.

– We see a great need for investment. Network companies need to manage more and more information. This means replacing old technology and supplementing it with digital solutions. Here too, as a supplier and partner, we are at the forefront.

Elfack is Northern Europe’s largest trade fair for the entire electricity and energy industry. You can find out more about programmes and activities at www.elfack.com. The trade fair will take place from 6 to 9 May 2025 at the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre in Gothenburg.