Meet Kajsa Ryttberg-Wallgren – EVP Head of Business Unit Hydrogen at H2 Green Steel

As an avid enthusiast of hydrogen, with over a decade of experience working with metals, fertilizers, and industrial automation, Kajsa Ryttberg-Wallgren’s career came full circle when she joined H2 Green Steel as EVP Head of Business Unit Hydrogen.

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“When I met the people working at H2 Green Steel and saw the purpose of the company, I immediately thought ‘there is no idea too big here.’ This is a place where you can really make a difference,” she says. Hydrogen and heavy industry are threads that weave through her work experiences over the years, from focusing on aluminum at Sapa (today Hydro), one of the largest aluminum companies in the world, to working with steel-based fuel cell materials at Swedish engineering group Sandvik, and ammonia at global fertilizer giant Yara. These experiences made her recognize the important role of green hydrogen in decarbonizing industries. “When I first saw that hydrogen is a key solution to the green industrial transition, I thought ‘Why isn’t everyone else seeing this?’ It was quite remarkable. Back then, we were a few ‘hydrogen believers’ among a lot of sceptics.”Meanwhile, hydrogen did have its enthusiasts long before climate change became a hot-button issue, with Kajsa being one of them. While being responsible for corporate innovation at Yara International, a global fertilizer giant, she recognized that green hydrogen is not about fuel cells vs batteries for automotive. Green hydrogen today is about large-scale green production for the industries that are hard to abate, that over time will open doors to fuels for shipping and mobility, and the energy system at large.  

What is your vision for H2 Green Steel and its role in the future of hydrogen?

I would like us to be the lighthouse for the rest of the world, especially China and India, as they will play outsize roles in the world’s efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions. We should set an example and show that it is possible to produce green hydrogen at a large scale and at an affordable price. We would also like to change the narrative of hydrogen in Sweden, which has been heavily focused on mobility and to some extent storage, as green hydrogen has the potential to cut emissions throughout heavy industries. It will of course be an enabler for cars, heavy trucks, shipping, and aviation as well, but we need to look beyond mobility to truly realize the potential of the green hydrogen of today.”As Head of Business Unit Hydrogen at H2 Green Steel, Kajsa will oversee the utilization of hydrogen in the green steel production, as well as leading the efforts of identifying potential additional verticals and geographies where adoption of green hydrogen can help decarbonize hard-to-abate industries. “I’m really driven by a higher purpose – I want to be part of changing the world. And I believe that having the right people with the right passion makes that possible,” she says.

What are you looking forward to most with this position?

“I’m excited about truly building something new from scratch. I’m also really inspired by how H2 Green Steel is becoming a prodigy in the green industrial revolution, setting a new standard for how business is done. We’re not taking no for an answer – if someone says that it will take 10 years to apply for a new power line, we will find ways to do it faster. I’ve mainly worked in heavy industry throughout my career, and I am really looking forward to being a part of developing a new view of what an industrial company can be."
Julia Ström