Hydropower is the single largest source of renewable energy production and energy storage worldwide. It has been the most important source of power production in Norway for over 100 years and will continue to be so in the years to come. However, the conditions for hydropower are drastically changing, which requires us to rethink how we operate, expand and upgrade hydropower plants.
To reach the climate targets, both Norway and Europe aim to introduce significant amounts of decentralised and intermittent renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power. Future renewable energy systems also need a buffer to ensure that we still have electricity even when there is little wind or the sun is hiding behind the clouds. Hydropower can act as this buffer due to its storage capacity and flexibility, which, by extension, also makes it an enabler of future robust, cost-efficient and renewable energy systems.
We have over 40 years of experience in hydropower research, which enables us to offer cutting-edge expertise across a wide range of fields, from analyses of the power grid, market models and optimal production planning to hydrology and environmental conditions in rivers and around hydropower installations. We also investigate the interplay between hydropower production and other renewable energy sources, such as solar power and wind power, as well as new types of energy carriers, such as hydrogen. We have a particular focus on how hydropower can support other renewable energy sources through its potential for large-scale energy storage, balancing power, and system services on a national and international level, and how this can be done in a cost-effective and sustainable way.