Highlights in 2019
Highlights in 2019


Update on clean energy innovation policies and strategies

On June 4th 2020 the Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Tina Bru, launched a new national hydrogen strategy. The strategy has been developed in cooperation between the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy (MPE) and the Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment (MCE), and includes several initiatives which aim to help Norway achieve its goal of reducing 90 to 95% of its climate gas emissions compared to 1990 levels within 2050.

The strategy document addresses both production and use of hydrogen, in Norway and to some extent internationally.  The maritime sector is, together with heavy transportation and industrial processes, touted as the most relevant sectors for use of hydrogen.

One of the relevant initiatives was the earmarking of 120 million NOK for the ENERGIX-research program, with a priority for hydrogen-related research and development.

Major innovation initiatives and programmes in 2019/20

The biggest offshore wind farm in the World: In August 2019, the Norwegian government decided to support the development of Hywind Tampen, a floating offshore wind farm, with in total $255 million (Nkr 2.3bn) through state enterprise ENOVA. When completed, this will be the world’s first floating offshore wind farm supplying renewable power to offshore oil and gas installations. The Hywind Tampen project will contribute to further developing floating offshore wind technology and reducing the costs of future floating offshore wind farms. The project itself may also reduce CO2 emissions by more than 200,000 tonnes per year, equivalent to emissions from 100,000 private cars.

New centres for energy research: In June 2019, Norway granted financing for two new research centres that look particularly at social sciences and the green energy transition. They complement eight national technological centres and are given funding for a period of up to eight years. In total, they will be granted about 200 million NOK during this period.

NTRANS is established to deliver world leading research on the energy system in the transition to the zero-emission society[1].

INCLUDE is a research centre that will produce knowledge about how to realise a socially just low-carbon society through socially inclusive processes and in close collaboration between researchers and partners in the public, private and voluntary sectors[2].

Private sector engagement in 2019/20

PILOT-E: Emission-free maritime transport and climate-neutral industry:

PILOT-E is a financing offer for the Norwegian business community, established by the Research Council, Innovation Norway and Enova. It is designed for the private sector and works like a “fast-track” through the stages of research; from idea to market.

The aim of the scheme is for completely new products and services in environmentally friendly energy technology to be more rapidly developed and used to contribute to reducing emissions both in Norway and internationally. In 2020, the fourth round of PILOT-E was launched; projects that can contribute towards emission-free maritime industry or climate-neutral industry were invited to apply.

Previously, PILOT-E has resulted in some impressive innovations. The all-electric sightseeing vessel “Future of the fjords” started operations in 2018. The 40m-long vessel carries up to 400 tourists in the fjord between Flam and Gudvangen, which is a UNESCO world heritage site. Another example is the development of electric excavators, as a part of the ambition to have zero-emission construction sites. This is a project that started in 2017 and such excavators are already being used in Oslo.

Other Mission Innovation related activity in 2019/20

Norway supports the second edition of MI Champions and our representative for the second cohort will be Annemie Wyckmans of NTNU University in Trondheim. Her field of expertise is research on smart and sustainable cities.

National plans and priorities for clean energy innovation

The Norwegian full-scale CCS project:

A very important priority for Norway in 2020 is to move forward with the our full-scale CCS project.

The Norwegian government has an ambition to realize a cost-effective solution for full-scale CO2 management in Norway, given that this provides technology development in an international perspective. There are two alternative projects: Norcem Brevik may become the world’s first cement factory equipped with a CO2 capture plant. The other is Fortum that plans to capture CO2 from their waste-to-energy plant in Oslo. This could become one of the first plants in the world to remove significant amounts of CO2 from the carbon cycle as much of the waste is biogenic. Either way, this is one of the first industrial CCS projects to develop an open access infrastructure with the intent and the capacity to store significant volumes of CO2 from across the European continent. An investment decision is expected soon[1].

New Collaborations

ACT – Accelerating CCS technologies
Canada, France, India, Italy, the Netherlands, UK, USA, Germany, Denmark
ACT is an international initiative to facilitate RD&D and innovation within CO2 capture, transport, utilisation and storage (CCUS).
Sectors: public-private
Start date: 2016
End date: ongoing (third call was announced in June 2020)
Funding amount: Approx. €30 million
Find out more

Joint call with China
In 2019 Norway and China published a joint call within renewable energy research.
Sectors: public-private
Type of collaboration: research and development
Start date: 2019
End date: 2020
Funding amount:75 million NOK from Norway and a similar amount from China