Director of SINTEF's green technology gets top European environmental appointment
Nils A. Røkke (45), who is the director of greenhouse gas treatment technology at SINTEF, has been appointed to the council of the committee with the mandate from the EU and European industry plan how zero emissions are possible from European coal and gas-fired power plants.
Text: Svein Tønseth, SINTEF Media
Photo: Geir Otto Johansen
This joint committee has been established by the European Commission, industry, environmental organizations and research groups and is called "The European Technology Platform for Zero Emission Fossil Fuel Power Plants" or ZEP (Zero Emission Power) in short.
The Committee's work consists of developing a research strategy and proposing the measures that are required to make it feasible to achieve almost zero emissions from coal and gas-fired power plants.
ZEP now carries considerable political weight in the EU and has played an important role in the work with regulations and directives for the capture and storage of CO2 as well as the incentive mechanisms required for CO2 treatment.
Effective treatment of CO2
The mandate is to draw up a road map for the capture and treatment of CO2 and stimulate what is required to develop the technology to make zero emission power plants as effective and economical as possible.
Nils Røkke has been appointed to the committee council which is the highest body in the ZEP programme.
There are 35 members of the council and Norway has two other appointees there; the head of the Bellona environmental organization, Frederic Hauge and StatoilHydro's Arve Thorvik.
Financial muscle power
– The committee will play a key role in achieving the EU's ambition to have 10-12 zero emission power plants in operation by 2015. We are cooperating with industrial concerns with the financial muscle power needed to achieve this, says Nils Røkke.
Heads Europe's largest project
Nils Røkke is the head of many of the EU's research projects in the capture and storage of CO2. He is also in charge of the Norwegian BIGCO2 project, Europe's largest national initiative in this type of research.
The common feature of these projects is that the next generation of CO2 capture plants from coal and gas-fired power plants will be much cheaper than those that can be built today.