Once upon a time in
A perfect storm has come to Skelleftea in northern Sweden. It started with the arrival of battery manufacturer/recy-
cler Northvolt and has been boosted by the region’s efforts to support sustainable business. Major industries are
exploring the opportunities, attracted by the Nordics’ clean and relatively cheap water powered energy. But there’s
one problem: not enough manpower to make it happen. Or, at least, not yet. A massive campaign aims to pull in no
fewer than 100 000 people from all over the world in the coming decade.
Winter in the northern Swedish city of Skelleftea with its landmark and pride, The Wood Hotel, standing 75 metres high with 20
floors. Opened in 2022, it is one of the world’s tallest wooden buildings, made from spruce and pine sourced from the region’s
forests. The hotel runs on 100% renewable power and is equipped with solar panels, batteries and a heat pump that are inte-
grated with local electricity, water and district heating networks. Skelleftea has been listed by Time magazine as one of the
world’s greatest places. It’s also the region that ranks the highest out of 270 EU regions when it comes to social development.
A U T H O R Martijn Reintjes
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