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SINTEF Energy Research - Annual Report 2021

We shape the future's sustainable energy solutions

Who we are and what we do

SINTEF Energy Research is an institute for applied research, dedicated to creating innovative energy solutions. We specialise in cutting-edge, research-based knowledge and infrastructure both in Norway and internationally, with the aim of providing our clients with solutions and services that increase their value and strengthen their competitive ability.

Last year proved that SINTEF Energy Research and our partners have an exceptionally strong will and ability to adapt.

I am proud of and impressed by our high level of activity, and the fact that we, despite recent global events, have managed to continue our research projects together with important collaboration partners in industry and at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU).

SINTEF, globally and locally

Our research supports the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and we have world-leading expertise in offshore wind power, solar power, bioenergy, batteries, smart grids, electrical power components, hydropower market modelling, energy efficiency, zero-emission transport, hydrogen, CCS, and low-emission oil and gas production.

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World-leading solutions

We have cutting-edge laboratories and testing facilities, digital solutions and software. We occupy a strong position in the EU’s Framework Programmes for Research and Technological Development, and are involved in seven of the Research Council of Norway’s Centres for Environment-Friendly Research (FME). We are also leading a Research Centre for Petroleum to reduce emissions on the Norwegian continental shelf.
Sustainable energy solutions for the future

SINTEF Energy and the Sustainable Development Goals

SINTEF’s vision is “Technology for a better society”, and SINTEF Energy Research’s goal is to shape the climate technology and sustainable energy solutions of the future.

Our strategy and activities are guided by the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and SINTEF Group is committed to all of them. SINTEF Energy Research mainly contributes to:

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SINTEF Energy Research and the UN's Sustainable Development Goals

Affordable and clean energy

Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy

Our research will contribute to achieving a low carbon footprint and high security of supply for various energy solutions, as well as their efficiency and economic viability. The majority of our research projects contribute to achieving Goal 7.

SINTEF Energy Research and the UN's Sustainable Development Goals

Climate action

Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impactsIf we are to avoid significant climate change, we must limit the increase of the average global temperature to 1.5˚C.

We contribute to Goal 13 by developing technology to reduce emissions, and new, sustainable energy solutions to replace less environmentally friendly ones.

SINTEF Energy Research and the UN's Sustainable Development Goals

Industry, innovation and infrastructure

Build resilient infrastructure, promote sustainable industrialisation and foster innovation

 Infrastructure for energy supply, both onshore and offshore, are key for functioning, robust societies.Many of our projects contribute to building solid infrastructure as well as more innovative business activities.We have numerous projects that contribute to sustainable industrialisation by developing energy-efficient solutions.

SINTEF Energy Research and the UN's Sustainable Development Goals

Sustainable cities and communities

SINTEF Energy Research works with smart cities and low-emission transport.

Our research contributes to developing sustainable neighbourhoods that do not emit greenhouse gases, and we are developing solutions for secure and zero-emission transport using various energy carriers.

SINTEF Energy Research and the UN's Sustainable Development Goals

Life on land

Protect, restore and promote the sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, and halt biodiversity loss

SINTEF Energy Research works with energy solutions that safeguard the natural world.

How we contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals

Himalayan Aquatic Biodiversity and Hydropower

Secure and reasonable access to energy is one of the most important ways of eradicating poverty. Today, 30% of Nepalese residents do not have access to the public power grid. The country has a great potential to develop hydropower so that it supplies the entire region with electricity.  Scientists from SINTEF are helping Nepalese authorities identify regulatory measures to ensure that the development and management of hydropower safeguards people, nature and animal life.

How we contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals

New gases for GIS: Alternatives to the world’s most potent greenhouse gas

Gas-insulated switchgear (GIS) are essential components in the power system.  They are used at energy hubs, such as electrical substations, and contain switches that control the flow of power in the grid.

SF6 is used in GIS because it has excellent electrical insulation properties. Unfortunately, it is also the most potent greenhouse gas we know of, and more than 23,000 times worse per kg for the environment than CO2. Therefore, finding a good replacement to SF6 would significantly reduce the environmental footprint of switchgear in Norway and the world.

The main goal of the “New gases for GIS” project is to contribute to a future sustainable and robust power grid by investigating long-term alternatives to SF6 to be used in distribution and transmission systems.

How we contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals

HighEFF: Data centres as a source of heat

Over the past decade, the need for computing power has increased exponentially, making data centres a rapidly growing industry.  Data centres are expected to use 20% of the world’s electricity by 2030. However, data centres also produce a lot of heat, and therefore have the potential to become heat sources instead of energy drains.

If we use liquid-based cooling systems instead of air-based, we can collect heat at higher temperatures that can be used for other purposes. HighEFF investigates both surplus heat use and energy-efficient industries.

How we contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals

NCCS: CO2 capture and storage

CO2 capture and storage (CCS) is a technology that captures, transports and stores CO2 safely under the earth. If we are to limit the global temperature increase, we need to do more than just reduce our current CO2 emissions; we must also remove existing emissions from the atmosphere.

CCS can contribute to achieving negative emissions if it is used to capture CO2 from, for example, biological waste. In addition, CCS can be used to create pure hydrogen by removing CO2 from natural gas.

CCS is also the only technology that can decarbonise hard-to-abate industries such as steel, fertiliser and cement.

How we contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals


Green electricity from floating offshore wind farms can meet the current global energy needs several times over.

SINTEF has world-leading offshore wind research communities, and works to build relevant connections and networks in the international market.

In the Ocean Grid project, SINTEF, NTNU and UiO collaborate with thirteen industry partners in order to develop solutions for the profitable development of offshore wind, including how to connect the power from offshore wind to the power grid and supply many people with renewable energy.

SINTEF Energy Research has clients and projects all around Norway and the world.

Read about some of our projects being carried out in Norway to the right.

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

In order to contribute to the UN’s SDGs, as well as the needs of the industrial markets, it is important that our research is of the highest global standard and contributes to building international alliances.The close collaborations that SINTEF Energy Research enjoys with its industrial clients form a solid basis for exploiting global market opportunities, particularly those offered by EU research programmes.This is why we’ve had an office in Brussels since 2015.

SINTEF Energy Research hosts five national research centres

In February 2022, SINTEF Energy Research was awarded the research centre HYDROGENi.


Centre for Environment-friendly Energy Research

FME NorthWind

NorthWind will contribute to Norway’s profitable export of wind energy, new green jobs, and wind power that respects both nature and people.

The centre consists of over 40 Norwegian business partners in addition to research partners  SINTEF, NTNU, NINA, NGI and UiO.

Centre for Environment-friendly Energy Research


NCCS’ main task is to fast-track the deployment of CO2 capture, transport and storage (CCS) through industry- and research-driven innovation.NCCS will also ensure that Norway remains a world leading actor in CCS, and contribute to the realisation of large-scale CO2 in the North Sea.
Centre for Environment-friendly Energy Research


HighEFF develops expertise and technology that will promote more energy-efficient, competitive and environmentally friendly industrial processes at an equipment, factory and regional scale.The goal is to develop solutions for efficient energy recovery that will enable Norwegian industry to become the most energy efficient in the world.
Centre for Environment-friendly Energy Research


CINELDI conducts research on the technology and solutions that enable the power grid to be upgraded and digitalised in a cost efficient and secure way, so that it is equipped to handle an increased power demand, increased power requirements, and more non-variable renewable energy.The research will contribute to facilitating increased renewable energy in the power grid, the electrification of transport, and more efficient energy use in both private homes and industry.
Research centres for petroleum activities


LowEmission is a research centre investigating technology to reduce emissions from the petroleum industry on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.The partners are world-leading Norwegian and international industry, suppliers, operators, and energy companies, as well as SINTEF, NTNU and other top-ranking universities and research institutes.The goal is to facilitate the zero-emission production of oil and gas on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.

Another excellent year for scientific publications produced by the institute

Scientific publications are key to ensuring that our research maintains a high international standard. SINTEF Energy Research has a goal of at least one publication point per full-time equivalent researcher.

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Net operating income (NOK)

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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. This represents an investment of NOK 299 milllion over the last ten years.

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Financial sources (% of gross net operating income)


Employees (2021-12-31)



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Publication level


The Norwegian scientific index divides journals and publishers into "level 1" and "level 2", where level 2 is reserved for the internationally most prestigious journals. Only 20 % at most are on level 2 nationally.