A positive climate agreement
The British economist Sir Nicholas Stern headed a British Government commission and produced a report in the autumn of 2006 – the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change – which has received considerable international attention. It recommends the doubling of initiatives in energy research by governments around the world and that incentives for technology transfer are increased by two to five times more than at present. This will be far cheaper than the consequences of not following the proposed recommendations. The Norwegian Commission on Low Emissions also proposes an increase in research.
We are happy to register that the climate agreement reached by the Norwegian Storting is likely to make the Norwegian authorities follow the recommendations of the Stern Review and the Norwegian Commission on Low Emissions. Funding for energy research will be increased by NOK 70 million in 2008, NOK 300 million in 2009 and NOK 600 million in 2010.
Although there is some doubt that the research institutes will be able to utilize the increasing funds efficiently, the SINTEF Group is already prepared for this increase. Plans have been made to increase research to a level which is NOK 300 million higher than today.
This includes the construction of the new laboratories which are necessary to carry out research at a high international level. With the contributions of other research institutes and universities the research sector will have the capacity to implement the increased research effort planned by the authorities while preserving the required levels of disciplinary and professional quality.
SINTEF, which cooperates closely with NTNU, are internationally competitive in key areas such as CO2 treatment, solar energy, offshore windpower, bioenergy, effective use of energy, energy planning and energy markets. We already have a strong position within EU’s research programmes for CO2 treatment and bioenergy where SINTEF Energy Research is the coordinator of major research programmes involving participants from across Europe.
The participants in the Norwegian solar energy industry are among the most competent in the world and SINTEF is an important partner in their research on new technologies. Offshore windpower generation in deep water is a new priority area in which Norwegian research groups and companies are among the European leaders. As the Norwegian authorities have now signalled increased public spending on energy and the environment it becomes increasingly important that Norwegian industrial companies, energy companies and investors actively pursue new activities based on the environmentally friendly energy technologies of the future.
SINTEF is ready to participate as a research partner in these developments. We are delighted to be able to contribute to the sustainable development of society and apply new technology to the global market.