The RENERGI programme:
Charting a course for future energy solutions
As a major energy producer, Norway has an obligation to develop clean energy solutions both at home and internationally. Eight years of activities under the Research Council of Norway’s Large-scale Programme on Clean Energy for the Future (RENERGI) have produced many valuable results
“The RENERGI programme generates essential knowledge about technologies and solutions that can help us to tackle the world’s major energy and climate challenges,” says Fridtjof Unander, Executive Director of the Division for Energy, Resources and the Environment at the Research Council of Norway.
“At the same time, the programme adds substantially to the know-how underlying the development of Norwegian energy policy and helps to boost the value-creating potential of industry.”
Eight years of programme activities analysed
The RENERGI programme is scheduled to run from 2004 to 2013. The Research Council has put together a Norwegian language publication, Lange spor – Energi (Research progress on the energy front), highlighting some of the achievements of research funded under the programme from its launch until today.
The publication features selected projects or thematically-organised portfolios of projects in the areas of energy systems, energy for transport, the social sciences, and industry, detailing the projects’ most important findings and impacts. One conclusion is clear: increased allocations to energy research lead to new, future-oriented research and innovation.
Cultivating strong institutions
From the start, the primary task of the RENERGI programme has been to build dynamic research groups over time. These have in turn provided the basis for the 11 Centres for Environment-friendly Energy Research (FMEs) that have been established under the Research Council’s newest energy research funding scheme.
Eight of the FME centres are clearly rooted in technology, while the three most recently established centres focus primarily on social science-related issues in order to provide politicians with the insight they need to draw up a future-oriented energy policy strategy.
Smart grids and lower transport emissions
Lange spor – Energi provides insight into energy solutions which may seem futuristic today but could be a reality within a few years. The key aim is a stable supply of electricity via smart grids which can combine Norway’s hydropower with other energy sources – including solar, wind and natural gas – all within the same energy systems.
Another focus area is using hydrogen, biofuels and electricity to limit unnecessary and dangerously large CO2 emissions from the transport sector. Norway has staked out a clear position in all three of these focus areas, developing solutions that could make a real difference, nationally and internationally.
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