The eleven Centres for Environment-friendly Energy Research
BIGCCS Centre – International CCS Research Centre
The centre will develop knowledge, methods and solutions for safe, efficient and inexpensive CO2 management at natural gas- and coal-fired power plants and for other types of industry. The BIGCCS Centre will also help to determine the extent of Norway’s offshore storage capacity for CO2.
Proper CO2 management can achieve 25-30 per cent of the global reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. CO2 management is a key tool for mitigating human impact on the climate system. Furthermore, CO2 storage offers considerable potential for value creation. “It is vitally important to develop technology that allows CO2 management to be implemented as soon as possible,” says project manager Nils A. Røkke of SINTEF Energy Research.
Centre for Environmental Design of Renewable Energy (CEDREN)
The centre will further develop hydropower, adapting it to the more flexible energy systems of the future and to function in concert with other renewable energy sources. CEDREN will also be involved in environmental design of other renewable forms of energy which, like the design of hydropower, must take into consideration local environmental impacts.
The centre will help to preserve nature locally while improving the environment globally – by optimally adapting hydropower, wind power and other renewable energy sources to the natural ecosystem. “When building energy systems in the past, the primary considerations were technological and economic. Now we also need to take the global and local environment into account,” says project manager Atle Harby of SINTEF Energy Research.
Bioenergy Innovation Centre (CenBio)
The centre will help Norway to double its use of bioenergy based on domestic raw materials by 2020. CenBio researchers will develop effective, environmentally sound ways of improving forest harvesting, utilising more waste for energy purposes, producing biofuels of adequate quality, and raising efficiency. Essential to this end will be educating and training the next generation of bioenergy researchers and industry players.
As a result of the centre’s activities, consumers will be able to choose between different forms of environment-friendly energy, and society will be supplied with more renewable and CO2-neutral energy while CO2 emissions are reduced. A further benefit will be the establishment of a Norwegian bioenergy industry and a substantial number of new jobs, especially in outlying districts.
“Used with carbon capture, bioenergy is the only form of energy that can contribute to negative net CO2 emissions – meaning that CO2 is actually removed from the atmosphere,” says project manager Lars Sørum of SINTEF Energy Research.
Norwegian Centre for Offshore Wind Energy (NORCOWE)
NORCOWE will be a competence and resource centre for developing wind power generation at sea. The centre will build on existing knowledge from Norway’s offshore technology and Danish expertise in wind power.
“Together with our industrial partners, we will drive the continued development of offshore wind power. We will contribute knowledge upon which industrial players can base their actions,” says Hans-Roar Sørheim, Senior Vice President of Christian Michelsen Research.
The centre will carry out research that can help to cut the costs of offshore wind power generation and will foster resource personnel with specialised expertise that can be implemented directly by industry.
Norwegian Research Centre for Offshore Wind Technology (NOWITECH)
The centre will combine knowledge about wind power with experience in offshore activities to promote the development of wind farms at sea. The goal is to produce new knowledge, methods and technology to form a basis for industrial development of offshore wind farms. The centre will utilise indoor laboratories such as those at Marintek in Trondheim, as well as conduct full-scale field trials such as those connected with the HyWind project off the island of Karmøy.
The centre will educate a number of doctoral fellows and researchers who will collaborate with industry on technology development.
Research carried out at the centre is intended to bring the technology for floating wind turbines closer to commercialisation. “In a few years we will see the expansion of floating turbines on a somewhat larger scale, and seabed-fixed wind turbines in deeper waters will become more common,” predicts John Olav Tande of SINTEF Energy Research.
The Norwegian Research Centre for Solar Cell Technology
The centre will assemble a national team for solar cell research in Norway to tackle major research challenges. All of Norway’s leading research groups and industrial partners in solar cell technology will participate. The centre will provide the Norwegian solar cell industry with ready access to one of the world’s foremost research communities.
“The solar cell centre will conduct research throughout the entire value chain, from solar cell materials to completed solar cell panels,” says Erik Stensrud Marstein, Deputy Head of Department at the Institute for Energy Technology (IFE). Research conducted at the centre will help to make prices for electricity generated from solar cells more competitive. The research findings will have an impact on consumers around the world as solar cell facilities become more widespread. The centre’s activities will also ensure that Norwegian industry continues to enjoy a leading position on the global market.
SUbsurface CO2 Storage – Critical Elements and Superior Strategy (SUCCESS)
The centre will contribute to finding sound, reliable ways of storing CO2 by examining various methods of storing CO2 and how CO2 behaves when sequestered underground. The centre will also identify the best methods of injecting CO2 and monitoring that the CO2 remains underground once it is stored there.
“We will develop methods that allow cheap and effective CO2 storage so we can help to reduce CO2 in the atmosphere,” says Arvid Nøttvedt, Director of Christian Michelsen Research. The technology already exists for injecting and storing CO2, but there is still uncertainty as to the actual costs of storing CO2 and what happens once the CO2 is injected underground.
The Research Centre on Zero Emission Buildings (ZEB)
The centre will develop buildings that emit no greenhouse gases, by studying the entire life-cycle of the building, from its components and materials to its operation. The centre will be involved in a broad range of activities from materials research to research on the building as a whole and its systems, and will develop new materials and components where existing ones are inadequate.
“Our goal is to have sample buildings within a few years that are constructed practically and demonstrate that zero emissions is possible and economically feasible, while still satisfying comfort requirements,” says Professor Anne Grete Hestnes of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU).
In addition to reducing emissions of greenhouse gases and lowering energy consumption, the centre will help to create more competitive companies and more jobs in the construction sector.
The three new FME Samfunn centres
Centre for Sustainable Energy Studies (CenSES).
Host institution: Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim.
Strategic Challenges in International Climate and Energy Policy (CICEP).
Host institution: Center for International Climate and Environmental Research – Oslo (CICERO).
Oslo Center for Research on Environmentally friendly Energy (CREE).
Host institution: Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research, Oslo.
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