Recommendations - 6 key areas

Energy21 board recommends a substantial increase in energy technology investment and priority efforts targeting the following strategic areas: 

  • Digitalised and integrated energy systems
  • Climate-friendly energy technologies for maritime transport
  • Solar power for an international market
  • Hydropower as the backbone of the Norwegian energy supply
  • Climate - friendly and energy-efficient industry, including Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS). 

The key area " Digitalised and integrated energy systems" is an overall priority area by virtue of its crucial role in the future security of supply, integration of climate-friendly energy technologies and value creation in society. 

Digitalised and integrated energy systems

It is essential to develop integrated, digitalised energy systems with a highly reliable energy supply, low emissions of greenhouse gases and effective integration of new technologies in energy production, consumption and storage.

The systems must also accommodate new business models, more active customers and efficient system operation and maintenance.

Norwegian industrial actors and research groups have wide-ranging expertise in a variety of areas, including energy infrastructure for transport, power electronics and solutions for smart grids.

Important research topics include integrated development of the energy system, ICT security and vulnerability, electrical power issues, dynamic system modelling, social science-based perspectives and more.

Hydropower as the backbone of the Norwegian energy supply

Hydropower is critical for Norway’s ability to develop a virtually zero-emission energy system while maintaining its security of supply.

National hydropower resources can play a vital role in the transformation to a low-emission society in Norway and internationally.

Norwegian industrial actors and research groups possess some of the world’s leading hydropower expertise, which provides an excellent basis for the export of Norwegian solutions and services. This expertise must be further developed.

An effort should be made to increase the value of hydropower by better utilising the flexible storage facilities of reservoirs in the context of the Nordic and European power systems.

Important research topics include flexibility and balancing, effects of precipitation, environment-friendly and cost-effective hydroelectric stations, effects of short- and long-term balancing power, the system perspective and more.

Climate-friendly and energy-efficient industry, including Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS)

Norwegian industry is already energy-efficient with low greenhouse gas emissions, compared to similar industrial activity in many other countries. Nonetheless, industry still produces significant emissions and there is a need to develop new technologies and solutions to reduce them.

Relevant measures include carbon capture and storage, and increased use of hydrogen and biomass. Specific efforts must be targeted towards technology development and breakthroughs that can reduce costs and boost efficiency.

There is also potential for enhancing energy efficiency by utilising waste heat, e.g. by converting it to electricity. Norway has extensive expertise in process technology and heat pump systems, as well as a global leading role in CCS technology and solutions.

Full-scale projects for testing and proof of CCS concepts are important for realising and commercialising the CCS value chain.

Important research topics ahead include process improvement, conversion of waste heat, industrial use of hydrogen, utilisation of biomass, CCS related to industrial processes, long-term CO2 storage and more.

Offshore wind power for an international market

There is significant potential for further developing the internationally competitive Norwegian offshore wind power industry.

This is already Norway’s largest renewable export industry, and Norwegian actors are well positioned to strengthen their standing in a rapidly growing international market.

Norwegian suppliers have ambitions to double their market share by 2030, and a concerted effort to develop new technology can help to achieve this.

Actors in the Norwegian research and business sectors can capitalise on and further develop their world-leading expertise from the petroleum and maritime sectors and apply it to offshore wind power. In addition, Norway’s early involvement in developing floating wind farms gives it a competitive advantage in further project development.

In a longer-term perspective, increased focus on offshore wind power can promote use of Norway’s considerable offshore wind resources and help to establish electricity production on the Norwegian continental shelf.

Important research topics include turbine foundation design, composition and installation, reduced operational and maintenance costs, marine logistics, resource mapping and modelling, electric infrastructure, multi-use maritime platforms and more.

Solar Power for an international market

Norway has an extensive technology and competency base in solar power, with large potential for further developing a competitive industry. Deliveries will mainly be to an international solar power market.

The market is in rapid growth, and Norwegian actors are well equipped to strengthen their market positions through increased research and technology activity.

The Norwegian solar power industry is built on world-leading expertise in material and process technology. Norwegian actors have also gained an international position in development and operation of large-scale solar power plants, and this know-how should be expanded.

The Norwegian solar power cluster must be strengthened to enable it to gain ground in emerging markets and take a leading role in quality and innovation. New business models and solutions that combine solar power, smart control and digitalisation are needed.

Important research topics include silicon-based solar cells of the future, floating solar power, building-integrated photovoltaics, reduced operational and maintenance costs, increased energy conversion ratios
and more.

Climate-friendly energy technologies for maritime transport

There is also great potential for cutting emissions in the maritime transport sector. Emissions reductions can be achieved by developing competitive, climate-friendly energy technologies as alternatives to current fossil fuel propulsion systems.

Electricity, hydrogen and biofuels are relevant energy carriers in fuels of the future, as well as hybrids using combinations of energy carriers.

Norwegian actors got an early start in developing battery and hydrogen-electric propulsion for maritime transport. As a shipping nation, Norway has a strong starting point with its advanced material and process know-how. In addition, there is a large domestic market with the entire value chain available for testing and proof of concept of technologies and solutions, and this should be taken advantage of.

Examples of important future research topics include battery materials and systems, charging technology, electrolysers, hydrogen filling stations, biofuels,automation solutions, zero-emission hybrids and more.