WHEN THE SWITCH was founded back in 2006, CFO Dag Sandås and his founder peers already knew they were on the verge of a major megatrend, specifically the breakthrough of wind power and other renewable energy sources. However, as with many big societal shifts, this breakthrough has taken longer than anticipated.
“The road has been bumpy at times, but now society has finally started to make the big switch from fossil fuels to renewables,” Sandås states. This is evident in the fact that wind power no longer needs to be subsidized in order to be profitable.
YASKAWA Environmental Energy / The Switch, as the company is nowadays called, has from its very start provided permanent magnet technology for wind power, which means better output compared to traditional technologies. Dag Sandås is particularly happy that offshore wind power, which used to be too expensive to build, is now picking up speed. Approximately 80 percent of offshore wind power parks today rely on permanent magnet technology.
“Earlier, we were a bit ahead of our time. Now, there is finally enough critical mass to ensure that both offshore wind power, as well as the technology we represent, is cost effective. As volumes increase, costs decrease. Wind power is already the cheapest way to generate renewable electricity and with increasingly efficient turbines, cost efficiency increases as well,” he continues.
IN ADDITION TO wind power, The Switch offers its technology to the marine industry. In this sector, the company benefits from the same megatrend. More and more ships are abandoning fossil fuels and are instead moving towards hybrid and electrical solutions.
Another area where the company provides unique energy-efficient technology is its highspeed motors for turbo applications, such as blowers, compressors and pumps.
IN 2014, The Switch was acquired by the Japanese Yaskawa Electric Corporation, and has doubled its turnover since then. “Having a large and solid owner offers many advantages. Operations are more stable now, and customers can count on us being in this game in the future as well,” Sandås says.
Yaskawa Environmental Energy / The Switch
Business sector: Electrical drive train technology
Turnover: 87 MEUR
Major markets: Worldwide