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Responding to Climate Change 2011

Home | Spotlight on Energy | NTNU & SINTEF Multiple energy solutions for a world in crisis
 

Multiple energy solutions for a world in crisis

Norwegian University of Science and Technology & SINTEF

In this pilot laboratory plant in Trondheim, SINTEF and NTNU are conducting research on chemicals that can capture CO2 from fossil fuel power plant emissions. Photo: Thor Nielsen/SINTEF Media
In this pilot laboratory plant in Trondheim, SINTEF and NTNU are conducting research on chemicals that can capture CO2 from fossil fuel power plant emissions. Photo: Thor Nielsen/SINTEF Media

Although Norway is one of Europe’s smallest countries in terms of number of inhabitants, it is one of the world’s largest energy exporters. The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) and its research partner SINTEF discuss the array of energy solutions they have developed.

Research in action

In Japan, the partnership’s heat pump technology has resulted in saving the same amount of CO2 emissions as is produced by over half-a-million modern automobiles. Most Japanese use gas to power hot water heaters, but now two million Japanese households and businesses get their hot water from NTNU/SINTEF heat pumps.

Heat pumps are known to save energy when they are used for home heating. If they use CO2 as the heat-bearing substance instead of chemicals, they do not add CO2 to the atmosphere. The CO2 used is “borrowed” from industrial waste gases that would otherwise have contributed to global warming.

Without these CO2-based heat pumps, two million Japanese users would have had to burn natural gas to heat water. Thus, in 2009 alone, these pumps saved Japan from emitting approximately 1.1 million tonnes of CO2.

Norway is the first country in the world to have implemented CCS in an offshore environment. Back in 1986, SINTEF launched the idea of fossil-fuelled gas power plants with integrated CCS facilities on the Norwegian continental shelf. With NTNU, they were one of the earliest to promote this concept and were the largest contributor to the EU’s Sixth Framework Programme for CCS research, and look set to be the largest contributor on CCS for the Seventh Framework Programme.

Tackling the global shortage of solar grade silicon, NTNU and SINTEF have developed a new process for quartz destined to be turned into solar cells, with the aim of producing large quantities of solar grade silicon at a much lower price than today’s standard method. Norway is the home of the world’s largest manufacturer of solar grade silicon and of silicon wafers for use in solar cells.

NTNU and SINTEF are collaborating with Statoil, the world’s largest offshore oil company, on the first-ever full-scale floating wind turbine, HyWind. HyWind is based on the floating concrete structures familiar from North Sea oil installations, but it can exploit the wind where it is strongest and most steady – far out at sea. The two organisations are also partners in a deep sea offshore wind turbine research programme funded by the Research Council of Norway and Norwegian industry to improve design tools for offshore wind energy concepts.

Research has to result in marketable results to show that the world can become greener. These are a few of the ways SINTEF and NTNU are making their work count.

The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) and its research partner SINTEF, the largest independent research organisation in Scandinavia, represent one of Europe’s largest educational and research centres in green energy solutions. These two institutions are thought to host the largest group of scientists, laboratories and students working on clean energy in Scandinavia. Their industrial partnerships encompass national and international energy providers, vendors, manufacturers and engineering companies, developing new solutions for:
  • Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS);
  • Energy generation from renewable sources; and,
  • Efficient energy production and use.

Norwegian University of Science and Technology & SINTEF logos




Norwegian University of Science and Technology
SINTEF (www.sintef.com) NTNU (www.ntnu.edu
)

 
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