SINTEF Energy Research – cooperating with the energy and service sectors for 60 years
The 24 November 2011 was a red-letter day as it marked 60 years since the Royal Norwegian Council for Science and Industrial Research (NTNF) appointed the interim board that created the Norwegian Electric Power Research Institute, EFI. The reason was "the great opportunities found in Norway to make use of the many benefits of electricity," to quote the electrification committee of 1947.
EFI was gradually given considerable scope, such as power grid analysis, production planning and electric power technology. In 1986, EFI joined SINTEF and in 1996 created Powel Data AS and 37 EFI employees went to the new company. Powel is now a success in its own right with over 200 employees. In 1998, SINTEF Energy and EFI merged and gas technology, combustion, CO2 capture and energy efficiency became part of the institute’s work.
The 60th anniversary is a good opportunity to reflect on the major trends. One striking feature is internationalization. Norway is becoming closer and closer to Europe where the development of non-regulated renewable power generation in Europe provides new challenges and opportunities. Parallel to this are the players in the energy sector with a more international focus.
The suppliers of technology and equipment to the energy industry are mainly global industrial companies that operate everywhere. They demand leading-edge research from international institutes. This has led to a European division of labour among research institutes where there is a combination of competition and cooperation.
The Norwegian Climate Agreement in 2008 led to a sharp growth in the Norwegian funding of research in green energy. This has strengthened Norway's efforts in the energy areas where business, industry and research institutions have high international standards of expertise.
SINTEF Energy Research will be an active international research organization that will help to strengthen the Norwegian energy sector and its industrial position in a globalized future. The electrification committee’s recommendation that Norway has great potential to utilize the many advantages of electricity are still relevant - and during the last 60 years we have been building up the expertise required to seize these new opportunities for the benefit of the Norwegian society and industry.