Elite centers for clean energy established in Trondheim

The world’s largest research community for CO2 management as well as one of the world’s top research centers for offshore wind power are currently being launched in the university town of Trondheim, in central Norway.

The two research centers – the BIGCCS Center (for CO2 management) and NOWITECH (for offshore wind power) – have secured funding for eight years with the support of the Research Council and industry. These two centers and six more have been established under the Research Council’s Centres for Environment-friendly Energy Research (FME) scheme.

(Photo: Sidsel Floch Backmann)

(Photo: Sidsel Floch Backmann)

The new institutions under the FME scheme are an important signal to the climate summit in Copenhagen that Norway intends to contribute fully to finding solutions for reducing emissions of greenhouse gases.

Leading the battle against climate change

“Our ambition is to establish Norwegian research institutions to spearhead international efforts to deal with climate challenges,” says Anne Kjersti Fahlvik, Executive Director of the Research Council’s Division for Strategic Priorities. “We are well on the way to realizing that ambition; the BIGCCS Centre is already the world’s leading research center for CO2 management.”

International collaboration is critical

International collaboration will be essential if efforts to combat global climate challenges are to succeed.

“Thanks to the FME scheme, Norway is home to the world’s largest publicly funded specialist research community in CO2 management,” says Sverre Aam, who is President of SINTEF Energy Research, the host institution of both centres in Trondheim. “The two centers provide us with the means and opportunity to become a global player in research on both CO2 management and offshore wind power.”

International CCS Research Centre (BIGCCS)

Nils A. Røkke, Centre Director, BIGCCS (Photo: SINTEF/Thor Nielsen)The center is working to ensure that power generation from fossil fuels is based on cost-effective CO2 capture – and the safe transport and underground storage of that CO2. This will be achieved by building expertise, filling critical knowledge gaps within the CO2 chain, and developing new technologies in an extensive, internationally collaborative research effort.

The BIGCCS Centre receives NOK 160 million from the Research Council, while industry contributes the remainder of its NOK 400 million budget. The centre has a number of partners in the USA, Germany, Denmark and Great Britain.

Read more on the BIGCCS Centre website.

Norwegian Research Center for Offshore Wind Technology (NOWITECH)

John Olav Tande, Centre Director, NOWITECH (Photo: SINTEF/Thor Nielsen)The center’s research activities will form a basis for industrial value creation and the establishment of cost-effective offshore wind farms. NOWITECH will concentrate on floating and fixed wind turbines designed for depths exceeding 30 meters.

NOWITECH’s budget of NOK 320 million includes NOK 160 million from the Research Council. Together with several partners from research and industry, the center will drive the development of competitive wind farms placed far offshore.

Read more on the NOWITECH website.

The Research Council and environment-friendly energy

The Research Council has established eight new Centers for Environment-friendly Energy Research (FMEs). The centers will conduct R&D of high international calibre within the areas of CO2 management, offshore wind energy, bioenergy, solar cell technology, environmental design of renewable energy, and increased energy efficiency.

Read more about the FME scheme here.

The Research Council also provides several hundred million kroner in funding annually to other research projects related to environmentally sound energy, particularly those relating to the Research Program on Clean Energy for the Future (RENERGI) under the Large-scale Program initiative.

Read more on the RENERGI programme website.

“The Research Council seeks to promote teamwork between the FMEs, the RENERGI programme and our other activities in this sphere,” concludes Dr Fahlvik.

To learn more visit the Research Council of Norway.

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