J. B. Ugland Fornybar Energi AS is part of the J. B. Ugland Group: a family company with long traditions in farming, trade and shipping since 1290.
We strive to be innovative, proactive and humble, as a company and partner in business. As a group we focus on long-sightedness, responsibility and profitability in all of our activities.
Based on family traditions, Johan Benad Ugland and his family have an interest in the sustainable use of natural resources for development and growth. This is reflected in the J. B. Ugland company vision: ‘pride in development’.
J.B. Ugland Fornybar Energi AS was created in 2010 based on a long standing ambition of the J. B. Ugland Group to build up renewable energy as a core business area with a focus on small-scale hydropower. In January 2012 Dr. Carina Ugland took the position of managing director in J. B. Ugland Fornybar Energi to actively manage the groups operations within this sector and reflecting the family’s interest in this growing industry.
Our focus on regional hydropower is based on our belief that: to succeed, we must start by utilising the knowledge and resources that are local to us rather than ‘striving after greener pastures’. Norwegian hydropower is one of the least subsidy-reliant renewable energy industries and is an industry in which we are able to make the most of our local knowledge and resources. Water is one of Norway’s key resources and we believe this technology provides an energy source that is not only relevant today but will help support future generations.
The J. B. Ugland Group has long had both direct and indirect interests in the renewable energy and broader sustainability sectors. To this day we are the largest share holders in the local companies Teknova, Teknova Invest and Coventure AS. These companies provide local expertise within renewable energy, as well as many other emerging technology industries. We see the value in supporting local knowledge and through our continued investment in these companies we aim to support local innovation and development in these areas.
- J. B. Ugland has worked closely with the incubator company, Coventure AS, from the early stages of developing Sørlandets Teknologipark (Southern Norway’s Technology Park). Coventure’s involvement and presence here in Grimstad is part of a ‘fertilising plan’ that J. B. Ugland considers paramount to ongoing innovation and development in the region.
- In 2005 J. B. Ugland was awarded the contract to build Norway’s first privately owned University building for the University of Agder (UiA) within the Technology Park. The Faculty of Engineering and Science is the University’s largest faculty with approximately 2100 students and 200 faculty members. Renewable Energy is one of the many popular programs within this fast growing faculty, and the University of Agder now offers bachelor, masters and PhD programs in this field.
- For the second year now J. B. Ugland Fornybar Energi has bachelor students from UiA’s renewable energy program writing their theses on the company’s small-scale hydropower development projects (see Current Activities).
- On receiving the contract to build Campus Grimstad for UiA in 2005, J. B. Ugland Eiendom AS took the initiative to apply for a licence to build a biomass district-heating installation that could supply the Teknology Park as a whole. In 2006 an agreement was formed between J. B. Ugland Eiendom and Agder Energi AS, who constructed the district heating installation and today supply the Technology Park with 6 GWh of energy per year, with potential for future extension.
- In 2008 J. B. Ugland helped in setting up the research institute, Teknova AS, with a research focus in renewable energy amongst other areas. Today we remain the majority shareholder in Teknova and sister company, Teknova Invest AS. Like Coventure AS, Teknova is also a vital part of a local ‘fertilising plan’, supplying professional people and knowledge to our region to promote innovation and growth.
- J. B. Ugland is also an investor in the funds of the venture capital company, Skagerak Capital AS. Skagerak Capital focuses on ventures within emerging technologies including renewable energy