Last year proved that SINTEF Energy Research and our partners have an exceptionally strong will and ability to adapt.
SINTEF’s most important task is to contribute to society’s sustainable development, and generate future-oriented, competitive industry in Norway. When the Green Platform projects were announced last year, we received an unprecedented amount of interest from Norwegian companies and public bodies. The companies involved in these projects are contributing with self-financing, which I believe is a key factor in a binding partnership. As a result of the announcement, SINTEF was awarded a record number of projects, which will create new, green workplaces across Norway. I’m looking forward to following the projects as they progress.
I’m writing this message in May 2022, and it’s difficult to not mention the grave situation that Europe finds itself in. These are turbulent times, and energy prices and the security of supply have become one of the most important topics in the public sphere. The situation we find ourselves in requires viewing Norwegian research in a European context to an even greater extent. Our EU projects and our international network put SINTEF Energy Research in a unique position to contribute.
In November 2021, the whole world gathered in Glasgow for the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26). The event enabled politicians, NGOs and industry representatives to meet while negotiations took place. SINTEF attended in order to share our knowledge on climate solutions, such as CCS, hydrogen, offshore wind power, transmission, zero-emission transport, etc. We also had a joint event with NTNU that focused on the North Sea as a platform for the green transition. There was a lot of international interest in our research, which shows that what we’re doing is important and right in a world that is to become emissions free by 2050.
If we are to achieve our climate goals, we must work with both short- and long-term solutions simultaneously. The EU has created a plan in record time for gaining independence from Russian oil and gas. The Norwegian government has also started work on a Norwegian Energy Commission , which will map future energy needs and suggest an increased energy production.
Developing research and knowledge takes time, and requires patience and a long-term perspective. At the same time, climate change is a matter of urgency. As such, our large national research centres have a vital role to play. The NCCS, NorthWind, HighEFF, CINELDI and LowEmission research centres each consist of 30 to 60 partners from Norwegian industry and academia. This is a game-changing team for Norway’s green transition. In 2021, many of these centres underwent their midway evaluation. The evaluations showed that these centres have produced fundamental research and understanding, pilot projects for testing new technology, and innovations that have already been adopted by the centre partners. Together with NTNU, these centres have “produced” several hundred master’s and PhD students who truly are our future in both research and industry.
All these fantastic solutions rely on our current expertise as well as the expertise we are able to attract. In recent years, SINTEF Energy Research has experienced a steady growth in the number of employees, and in 2021, we had a record number of applicants for summer jobs with us. I’m extremely proud of our summer scientist project, both in terms of the students themselves as well as the effort put in by the organisers.
There are no easy solutions for the electricity price crisis, the climate crisis, or the energy crisis. However, we have proven time after time that our research works. Sometimes it takes months, but most of time, we produce results together with our partners over several years. And it is precisely this strong, long-term collaboration that makes me certain that SINTEF Energy Research is built for the future!