In the run-up to the Copenhagen climate summit:
US energy secretary met with Norwegian energy researchers
US Secretary of Energy Steven Chu met with some of Norway's most prominent energy researchers during a conference at the Research Council on 11 December.
In his role as the US energy secretary, Dr Chu will attempt to realise a very ambitious agenda that includes major financial investments in alternative and renewable energy, millions of new jobs in the energy sector and independence from imported oil.
Secretary Chu, who is a researcher and recipient of the 1997 Nobel Prize in Physics, accompanied President Barack Obama to Oslo in connection with the bestowal of the Nobel Peace Prize. At the invitation of Norway’s Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Mr Terje Riis-Johansen, Dr Chu had the opportunity to hear Norwegian researchers’ views on the climate challenges and to visit some of Norway’s most advanced power facilities of various types before travelling on to the climate summit in Copenhagen.
Climate and the environment on the agenda
The topic of the conference at the Research Council was climate and environmental research and research on various types of clean energy. The potential for cooperation between Norway and the US was also discussed, and some of Norway’s leading researchers in the field of climate and energy research presented their work.
“This has been an excellent opportunity for us to present Norwegian research to the US energy secretary,” said Director General of the Research Council Arvid Hallén, who was extremely satisfied after the event.
Inspiring and crucial
“Many of the Norwegian research groups are world class,” said Mr Hallén. “At a time when research on energy issues is more important than ever, a direct dialogue with the US Secretary of Energy is both inspiring and crucial. During his visit, Dr Chu demonstrated his strong commitment to renewable energy.”
Secretary with a heavy task load
As energy secretary, Dr Chu has traded his research career for the enormous task of seeking out new solutions to the global energy challenges and helping to avert climate change.
Dr Chu’s own research spans a broad range of areas, including nuclear physics, quantum physics, changes in polymers and biophysics at the single molecular level. He is best known for developing methods to cool and trap atoms with laser light.
Prior to his appointment as energy secretary, Dr Chu was the Director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and a professor of physics and molecular and cellular biology at the University of California.
The search for new energy sources is a national mission
In announcing Dr Chu’s selection on 15 December 2008, President Obama said, “The future of our economy and national security is inextricably linked to one challenge: energy… Steven has blazed new trails as a scientist, teacher, and administrator, and has recently led the Berkeley National Laboratory in pursuit of new alternative and renewable energies. He is uniquely suited to be our next Secretary of Energy as we make this pursuit a guiding purpose of the Department of Energy, as well as a national mission.”
|Presentations at the conference|
Professor Helge Drange, Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research/University of Bergen: Climate change research in Norway – with focus on impacts and findings from polar areas
Dr Nils Røkke, SINTEF Energy: Carbon capture and storage – Norway as a leading partner for R&D collaboration
Dr Erik Lindeberg, SINTEF Energy: Norwegian experiences with CO2 storage and future R&D challenges
Professor Torgeir Moan, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU): Deep water offshore wind – R&D activities based on Norway’s competence and experience from the offshore petroleum and maritime industries
Dr Petter Støa, SINTEF Energy: Solving intermittency challenges of large penetration of renewable by grid enforcement, market design and integration with hydro power
Dr Alf Bjørseth, Scatec: Solar cells – the development of a new successful Norwegian industry – R&D focus and future prospects
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