Highlights in 2017
Highlights in 2017


New clean energy innovation policies and/or strategies

The Energi21 Strategy – A common point of reference for Norwegian clean energy RD&D:This spring Norway will launch a revised strategy for research, development and demonstration in the energy sector. Energi21, an advisory board appointed by the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy, is developing the new strategy with broad input from the Norwegian energy technology community. The board of Energi21 is dominated by industry, but research institutes, universities and authorities are also well represented. They provide the Ministry with recommendations on future strategic priority areas. Energi21 was launched for the first time in 2008 and they revise the strategy about every third year. In an international context, this cooperation and coordinated efforts to find a national common ground is quite unique.

The new revised strategy will analyze current trends in the energy sector and give advice on how Norway should adapt its energy RD&D policies. Specifically, the new edition will look at how energy for transport should be integrated into the strategy. It will also look at the energy system as a whole, where digitalization is a key trend. Furthermore, hydropower, solar energy, CCS and offshore wind will remain key priorities for Norway.

Top clean energy innovation successes in 2017

PILOT-E: Fast-track from idea to market: At the second Mission Innovation Ministerial in Beijing, Norwegian Minister Terje Søviknes highlighted a new financing programme, called PILOT-E. This is a collaboration between different Norwegian energy RD&D support schemes and it works as a “fast-track” through the stages of research; from idea to market. PILOT-E is inspired by the American programs ARPA and DARPA, and is designed to address specific challenges.

The first call was launched in 2016 and the challenge was “emission-free maritime transport”. The industry was mobilized and several consortiums that also included collaboration with research communities were established. Following up on that success, a new call was launched in 2017 that addressed two specific challenges:

  • Emission-free land-based transport (excl. private transport)
  • The digital energy system of the future

Again, the call mobilized both industry and research communities and several exciting projects received funding. Furthermore, and as an illustration of the fast-track characteristic of PILOT-E, the first vessel from the first call has already been tested on water and is ready for delivery this summer. “Future of the fjords” is an all-electric, fully battery-driven, sightseeing vessel that can operate in 16 knot, with 400 passengers, for 2.5 hours.

FME – Eight new Centres for Environment-friendly Energy Research: In 2017, eight new centres for environmentally-friendly energy research went into operation. The FME centres span the areas of hydropower, smart grids, energy efficiency in trade and industry, environment-friendly transport, CO2 management (CCS), solar cells, biofuels and zero-emission urban zones.

FME is a Norwegian acronym for “Centre for Environmentally-friendly Energy Research” and consists of a host institution and partners from both other research communities as well as industry and the private sector.  The FME scheme is a long-term initiative designed to generate world-class research and solutions to climate- and energy-related challenges. Industrial development is also a key goal. Because of that, at least 25 per cent of the funding of these centres has to come from business and other user partners. This ensures private sector relevance.

Through their long-term cooperation in the centres, research groups and partners in the private and public sectors have created dynamic networks and developed a mutual understanding of what it takes for a centre to succeed. The centres also serve as key partners and hubs for international research cooperation. In other words, the centres are our “national teams” within the abovementioned technologies.

Ocean technology – Synergies between different industries: In 2017, the Norwegian government launched an “Ocean Strategy”. That was the first comprehensive strategy that looks at the different ocean industries in a coherent way. An important background for this strategy was a report by the OECD about the future of the “Ocean Economy”. They estimate that ocean-based industries could double their contribution to the global economy by 2030. Key elements are how the industries can cooperate in a profitable and sustainable way, as well as taking advantage of knowledge transfers and synergies. In this context, the Research Council of Norway launched a call spanning over different thematic programs, like renewable ocean-energy, petroleum, maritime technology and fisheries, under the umbrella of “ocean technology”. In total, more than 100 million NOK was awarded to 11 different projects. An important example of a successful knowledge transfer is Statoil’s Hywind demo-park for floating offshore-wind. The facility, located off the coast of Scotland, started operations in 2017 and clearly demonstrates how knowledge and competence from the petroleum sector also can be used for renewable energy technologies.


ACT – Accelerating CCS Technologies
Countries: Germany, Netherlands, United Kingdom
Start date: ACT published the first call for project proposals in June 2016 with due date for proposals in September 2016. There are plans for a second call in 2018.
Funding amount: The budget for the first call was € 41.2 million.
Description: ACT is an initiative to facilitate RD&D and innovation within CO2 capture and storage (CCS).
Additional information:

Indo-Norwegian industrial cooperation on energy research
Countries: India
Start date: A budget of up to 8 million NOK from the Norwegian side and matching funding from India.
Funding amount: Call completed in 2017.
Description: Environmentally friendly energy research within mutually agreed fields.
Additional information: