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SINTEF Energy Research - Annual Report 2020

We shape the future's sustainable energy solutions

Who we are and what we do

SINTEF Energy Research is an applied research institute dedicated to creating innovative energy solutions. We offer cutting-edge research-based knowledge and infrastructure both in Norway and globally with the aim of providing our clients with added-value solutions and services. SINTEF Energy Research is part of the SINTEF Group, which is one of Europe's largest independent contract research centres.

SINTEF, globally and locally

With the aim of supporting the UN's Sustainable Development Goals, SINTEF Energy Research carries out world-leading research in fields such as offshore wind, solar energy, bioenergy, batteries, smart grids, electrical power components, hydropower market modelling, energy efficiency, zero-emissions transport, hydrogen, CCS, and low-emission oil and gas production. We work closely with industry to boost Norwegian competitiveness in global markets.

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World-leading solutions

We offer world-leading laboratories and test facilities, supported by state-of-the-art digital software and systems. We occupy a strong position in the EU's Framework Programme and are involved in six of the Research Council of Norway’s Centres for Environmentally-Friendly Energy Research (FMEs). We also act as coordinator for LowEmission, a recently established centre promoting research into low-emission oil and gas production on the Norwegian shelf.

The unusual year 2020

2020 was the year when people all over the world worried about their health and finances, as well as the future of their family and friends. It was also the year when we proved that we can face the future and make it even better.

Sustainable energy solutions for the future

SINTEF Energy and the Sustainable Development Goals

The objectives of SINTEF Energy Research are focused on shaping the sustainable energy solutions of the future. Sustainability is at the heart of all our research activities. Click on one of the goals to learn more.


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SINTEF Energy Research and the UN's Sustainable Development Goals

Affordable and clean energy

It is crucial that our research into various energy solutions contributes towards achieving a low carbon footprint and high levels of supply security, but it is also important that the solutions are both efficient and economically viable. The vast majority of our research projects contribute towards achieving this goal.
SINTEF Energy Research and the UN's Sustainable Development Goals

Climate action

It is important to limit the global average rise in temperature to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels if the planet is to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Our work with innovative and sustainable solutions to replace less eco-friendly systems, and with emissions-reducing solutions, is making a direct contribution to the achievement of this goal.
SINTEF Energy Research and the UN's Sustainable Development Goals

Industry, innovation and infrastructure

A well-functioning energy supply infrastructure, both onshore and offshore, is key to the maintenance of a robust society. Many of the projects carried out by SINTEF Energy Research contribute towards the development of a resilient energy infrastructure and a more innovative industrial sector. Many of our projects that promote industrial energy efficiency make an active contribution towards more sustainable industrialisation processes.
SINTEF Energy Research and the UN's Sustainable Development Goals

Sustainable cities and communities

SINTEF Energy Research is working to promote smart cities and low-emission transport solutions that will contribute to more sustainable cities with more resilient infrastructures.
SINTEF Energy Research and the UN's Sustainable Development Goals

Life on land

SINTEF Energy Research is working to develop energy solutions that safeguard the natural world. We have accumulated extensive experience in this field in connection with our hydropower projects.
How we contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals


Environmental design of hydropower system

Environmental design is a method that considers both the natural environment and society in the development of new energy projects. Through the EU project FIThydro, scientists are developing new solutions to improve the conditions for fish in rivers affected by hydropower plants (HPP) without negatively impacting the power production levels. As part of this project, SINTEF Energy's scientists have launched a wiki that lists measures, methods and tools related to fish-friendly hydropower.

How we contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals

New gasses for GIS

Alternatives to the world's most potent greenhouse gas

Gas-insulated switchgear (GIS) are essential components of the power system. GIS are used at energy hubs, such as electrical substations, and contain switches that control the power in the grid. SF6 is used in GIS as it has excellent electrical insulation properties. Unfortunately, SF6 is also the most potent greenhouse gas that we know about. Finding a suitable alternative to SF6 would significantly reduce the environmental footprint of switchgear in both Norway and the rest of the world.

How we contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals


Affordable energy from offshore wind

The OPWIND project develops the knowledge and tools required for optimised operation and control of offshore wind farms, with the goal of making wind power cheaper, and therefore more profitable, by increasing efficiency. OPWIND’s basic premise is that managing the entire wind farm as a one system will yield better results than overseeing each individual turbine.

How we contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals


CO2 as a refrigerant

According to the “Drawdown project”, changing the refrigerant in air conditioning units, heat pumps and cold storage plants around the world is the single, most important climate action. These refrigeration systems use hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which are greenhouse gases that are used on a large scale globally. Phasing out the use of these HFC refrigerants will contribute to avoiding a 0.5-degree temperature increase. Together with NTNU, SINTEF is investigating the use of CO2 as a natural refrigerant (in this context, CO2 is not a greenhouse gas).

How we contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals


Carbon Capture & Storage

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is a technology that captures, transports and stores CO2 safely underground – in other words, the CO2 is sent back to where it came from.  If we are to limit the increase of the average global temperature to 1.5°C, we need to do more than just reduce our CO2 emissions; in the future, we must also remove them.  CCS is the only technology that can enable industries such as the steel industry, fertiliser production and cement factories to achieve net-zero carbon emissions.

SINTEF Energy Research has clients and projects all over Norway

Read about some of our projects being carried out in Norway to the right.
SINTEF Energy Research has clients and projects all over Norway

Wood-burning stoves in Otta, Oslo, Fredrikstad and Nykøbing in Denmark

In collaboration with stove manufacturers, SINTEF Energy Research has since the 1980s conducted research and development into contemporary wood stove technologies in order to boost heat output and reduce emissions. We are currently working mainly with four wood stove manufacturers: Norsk Kleber, Dovre, Jøtul and Morsøk Jernstøberi in Denmark. All four are partners in the WoodCFD research project.The aim of the WoodCFD project is to utilise advanced CFD (computational fluid dynamic s), using numerical analyses and data structures, to develop a minimal emissions combustion chamber.
SINTEF Energy Research has clients and projects all over Norway

TINE dairy in Bergen

When the TINE dairy planned to cut its energy requirements and greenhouse gas emissions at its new plant in Bergen, it sought the help of the HighEFF (FME) centre, which conducts research into industrial energy efficiency. In collaboration with TINE, the HighEFF centre identified heat pump technology that reduces greenhouse gas emissions and energy requirements by 40%, equivalent to the annual values of these parameters for 250 households. The heat pump used in the dairy is manufactured by the company Hybrid Energi AS, which is also a partner in the HighEFF centre.
SINTEF Energy Research has clients and projects all over Norway

ArbaFlame – from Norway to Europe

In 2016 SINTEF Energy Research presented many projects at a bioenergy workshop in Brussels. These included the ArbaHeat project, later granted NOK 192 million in funding from the EU research and innovation programme Horizon 2020. Our main partner in this project is the Oslo-based company Arbaflame. The project has the dual aim to develop and test a new concept for the conversion of fossil fuel power plants to climate-friendly, wood-based fuels, and to evaluate operational strategies that enable a feasible and inexpensive future energy supply. In the longer term, Arbaflame has ambitions to be one of the world’s largest pellet manufacturers.
SINTEF Energy Research has clients and projects all over Norway

Testing batteries in the electricity grid

What is the optimal way of integrating batteries into the electricity grid? The aim of the three-year research project IntegER, funded by the Research Council of Norway, is to identify how to reap the benefit of experience obtained during demo projects carried out on plants operated by project owner Skagerak Nett and the other major grid companies participating in the project. These partners are: Agder Energi, Lyse, NTE, BKK Nett, Eidsiva Nett, Hafslund Nett, Helgelandskraft, Energi Norge, Smartgridsenteret (the Smart Grid Centre) and the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE). The project tests a variety of battery concepts across Norway. One of these is a 1 MWh battery installed at the Odd football stadium, owned by Skagerak Energi. In another example, organisations such as the Flakk-Rørvik ferry company and Orkla City are having batteries installed.
SINTEF Energy Research has clients and projects all over Norway

GoNorth - Exploring the Arctic Ocean

GoNorth is a three-year programme dedicated to the exploration of the Arctic Ocean. The programme assembles 13 educational and research centres from all over Norway and is led by Gunnar Sand from SINTEF. It was motivated by the decision taken in 2009 by the UN's Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf to award Norway additional shelf waters north of Svalbard in an area about which we know little. In the start-up phase, the government is providing funding for the organisation of a multidisciplinary research collaboration. In the future, the ambition is to organise scientific cruises together with global partners. Current project partners include the universities of Tromsø, Bergen and Oslo, as well as NTNU, the University Centre in Svalbard, Akvaplan-Niva, the Norwegian Geological Survey, the Nansen Centre, NORCE, NORSAR, NUPI, and the Norwegian Polar Institute.

SINTEF Energy Research is very active in global research – especially in Europe.

In order to contribute towards meeting the UN's Sustainable Development Goals, as well as the needs of the industrial markets, it is important that our research activities attain the highest global standards and that they contribute towards building alliances with overseas partners. The close collaborative relationship that SINTEF Energy Research enjoys with its industrial clients provides us with a sound basis for the exploitation of global market opportunities, especially those offered by EU research programmes. This is why SINTEF Energy Research has had an office in Brussels since 2015.
International projects

New gasses for GIS

New gasses for GIS is an example of a national and international project led by SINTEF Energy Research. The main goal of the project is to contribute to a more sustainable and robust power grid in the future by investigating long-term alternatives for SF6 in distribution and transmission systems.

Centre for Environment-friendly Energy Research

SINTEF Energy Research hosts four Norwegian Centres for Environment-friendly Energy Research (CEERs/FMEs)
Centre for Environment-friendly Energy Research

FME NorthWind

On 11 December 2020, it was revealed that SINTEF Energy Research will lead NorthWind, the new Centre for Environment- Friendly Research (FME) on wind power. The centre will be headed by Chief Scientist in SINTEF Energy Research, John Olav Tande. NorthWind will contribute to Norway’s profitable export of wind energy, new green jobs, and wind power that respects both nature and people. Over 40 Norwegian businesses have joined this project, in addition to research partners including SINTEF, NTNU, NINA, NGI and UiO.

Centre for Environment-friendly Energy Research


The main objective of NCCS is to apply industry- and research-driven innovation to bring about the rapid implementation of carbon capture, transport and storage (CCS) technologies. NCCS also aims to ensure that Norway remains a global leader in the field of CCS and will contribute towards achieving the large- scale storage of CO2 in North Sea reservoirs.
Centre for Environment-friendly Energy Research


HighEFF develops knowledge and technology that will promote more energy efficient, competitive and environmentally-friendly industrial processes at equipment, factory and regional scales.
Centre for Environment-friendly Energy Research


Research carried out at CINELDI into future smart energy systems facilitates the feeding of greater volumes of renewable energy into the electricity supply grid, the electrification of transport, and the more efficient use of energy both in private households and by industry.
Another excellent year for scientific publications produced by the institute

Dynamic modeling of municipal solid waste incineration. Energy 2020; Volum 209.

Magnanelli, Elisa; Tranås, Olaf Lehn; Carlsson, Per; Mosby, Jostein; Becidan, Michael.

Another excellent year for scientific publications produced by the institute

Potential of Thermal Energy Storage for a District Heating System Utilizing Industrial Waste Heat. Energies 2020; Volum 13.

Kauko, Hanne; Rohde, Daniel; Knudsen, Brage Rugstad; Sund-Olsen, Terje.

Another excellent year for scientific publications produced by the institute

In situ synthesis of epoxy nanocomposites with hierarchical surface- modified SiO2 clusters. Journal of Sol-Gel Science and Technology 2020; Volum 95. s. 783-794.

Adnan, Mohammed Mostafa; Tveten, Erlend Grytli; Miranti, Rany; Hvidsten, Sverre; Ese, Marit-Helen Glomm; Glaum, Julia; Einarsrud, Mari-Ann.

Another excellent year for scientific publications produced by the institute

A Comprehensive Framework for Vulnerability Analysis of Extraordinary Events in Power Systems. Reliability Engineering & System Safety 2020; Volum 196.

Sperstad, Iver Bakken; Kjølle, Gerd Hovin; Gjerde, Oddbjørn.

Another excellent year for scientific publications produced by the institute

Depressurization of CO2 in a pipe: High-resolution pressure and temperature data and comparison with model predictions. Energy 2020; Volum 211.

Munkejord, Svend Tollak; Austegard, Anders; Deng, Han; Hammer, Morten; Stang, Hans Georg Jacob; Løvseth, Sigurd Weidemann.

Net operating income

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Net operating margin

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Profits are invested in new knowledge creation

SINTEF Energy Research's profits are invested in laboratories, scientific equipment, facilities and the development of new knowledge. The accounts show an investment of NOK 234 million over the last ten years.

Sources of finance

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Publication level

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