Mikael Sidenmark has always been drawn to energy technology. In 2006, six years after completing his degree in electrical and computer engineering, he read about a wave energy converter in a magazine and was hooked.
For a year straight, Mikael “thought about wave power day and night.” He researched intensively and soon created Ocean Harvesting Technology (OHT) as a way to test his first prototype for capturing energy from waves. Like that, a new clean energy technology company was born.
For over 13 years, Mikael has led OHT as its CEO, working constantly to design an efficient technology to capture and scale the power of wave energy. The global demand for affordable clean energy is growing rapidly and OHT is at the forefront, developing the InfinityWEC, a scalable and efficient wave energy system that leverages AI and patented technology to enable it to be cost-competitive with wind energy. The technology is complex, but after 14 years of research, the wheels seem to turn in Mikael’s brain with as much finesse as the technology he created.
The endeavour hasn’t been without challenges, though. It’s difficult to “pause development, reconsider, and then go down a new technology path,” he explained, all while convincing “investors to appreciate new concepts as an evolution.” But in order to shorten the time and cost to market, it’s necessary.
In 2020, Mikael felt pride in his work when the Lundin Foundation, in partnership with Lundin Energy, closed a $350,000 USD equity investment into the company to accelerate its path to commercialization. The Foundation’s investment also helped OHT unlock a matching grant from the Swedish Energy Agency and enabled OHT to enter the next development phase of the InfinityWEC technology. Lundin Norway has also provided R&D funding to conduct a case study on the potential for an OHT wave system to power Lundin Energy’s offshore oil and gas platforms in Norway. “This is very beneficial for us and will help us develop and demonstrate our business case and secure commercial interest down the road,” Mikael said.
Looking toward the future of the planet, Mikael said he’s “concerned but optimistic.” The potential future of wave power is broad, from fish farms to off-grid island communities, from offshore oil and gas platforms to power plants. He believes the world needs a complete transformation to renewable energy in order to stop climate change, and wave energy has an important role to play in this transition. “Awareness is growing quickly,” Mikael said, and green technology like his is “getting more attention and financing.” And through OHT, he’ll certainly make waves in the clean energy future.