International cooperation within energy and petroleum research

Participation in international R&D activities within energy and petroleum is a high priority and comprises an important supplement to our national research. First and foremost, Norway participates in the EU research and development programmes,, participates in the International Energy Agency (IEA) research related activities and joins forces with the Nordic countries through the Nordic co-operation. Norway is also involved in bilateral cooperation, primarily with the US, Brazil and Russia, and in multinational cooperation forums such as the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum (CSLF) and the International Partnership for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells in the Economy (IPHE).

Participation in international R&D activities within energy and petroleum is a high priority and comprises an important supplement to our national research. First and foremost, Norway participates in the EU research and development programmes,, participates in the International Energy Agency (IEA) research related activities and joins forces with the Nordic countries through the Nordic co-operation. Norway is also involved in bilateral cooperation, primarily with the US, Brazil and Russia, and in multinational cooperation forums such as the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum (CSLF) and the International Partnership for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells in the Economy (IPHE).

International cooperation is crucial, not just in order to maintain high academic standards within Norwegian research communities, but also for strategic reasons – in order to establish contacts and alliances with other countries. Participation in international projects builds expertise and provides both technical and financial help in solving key research tasks. Also, international collaboration provides a showcase for Norwegian suppliers of technology and knowhow.

The EU’s 7th Framework Programme for Research

Through the EEA Agreement, Norway participates as a full member of the EU’s 7th Framework Programme for Research, technological development and demonstration activities (2007–2013). The framework programme has a total budget of €50.5 billion. One of the prioritised topics is Energy, which has a financial framework throughout the lifetime of the programme of €2.3 billion. The energy programme has a set of tools ranging from support of thematic networks and coordinating activities to support of R&D and demonstration projects. The Research Council of Norway is in charge of coordinating the Norwegian activities and also has an EU office which can provide more information on the framework programme and Norwegian participation.

The energy programme is divided into two sections; one aimed at Short to Medium Term activities, and one aimed at Medium to Long Term activities. Both sections have separate, but coordinated, application rounds, aimed at demonstration activities and R&D respectively.

The thematic areas covered by the energy programme include:

  • Hydrogen and fuel cells
  • Renewable power production
  • Renewable fuel production
  • Renewable energy sources for heating and cooling
  • CO2 capture and storage for emission-free power production
  • Clean coal-based power
  • Smart transport grids (energy transport)
  • Energy efficiency and conservation
  • Knowledge for energy policy development

More information is available on the website of the Research Council of Norway.

The International Energy Agency (IEA)

The IEA is an energy forum for almost 30 member countries, most of which are also members of the OECD. The forum was established in 1974, and its main purpose was to counteract oil supply crises. Over time, all energy carriers and the use of these have come to have a central position within the IEA’s scope of action. Energy efficiency measures, compilation of statistics, environmental policy, etc. are also important items on the IEA’s agenda.
 
The International Energy Agency (IEA) has established a number of research programmes related to various energy topics. The programmes are called Implementing Agreements and are organised under three Working Parties, which act in an advisory capacity in connection with strategic issues. The Working Parties advise the overarching Committee on Energy Research and Technology (CERT).

The three Working Parties are:

  • The Fossil Fuels Technologies Working Party (FFWP)
  • The Renewable Energy Technologies Working Party (REWP)
  • The Efficient Energy End-Use Technologies Working Party (EUWP)

Norway is a member of about 20 such cooperation programmes, which fall into the areas oil and gas, end user technologies, renewable energy technologies and information sharing. Norwegian implementing participants may be from industry, from research communities or the authorities, depending on the activities in the programmes. The Research Council of Norway coordinates the Norwegian activities.

More information is available on the IEA website.

Nordic Energy Research

Nordic Energy Research (NER) is an institution under the Nordic Council of Ministers. The purpose of the institute is to promote and continue Nordic cooperation within the area of energy research. It aims to strengthen national energy research programmes and research institutes in the Nordic countries, and contribute to a shared strategy for research and development in those areas of energy research that are of interest to all the Nordic countries. The institution also manages strategy work and consultancy for projects within the Nordic Council of Ministers.

Nordic Energy Research is co-financed by the Nordic countries and is currently the only funding institution within energy research shared by the Nordic countries. The research projects funded by NER must include representatives from at least three of the Nordic countries, and the formal applicant must be a Nordic institute. The projects must also be able to document Nordic added value for academia, the energy sector and/or the authorities.

NER’s ongoing research programme runs from 2011-2014. The programme comprises ten research projects within subjects such as solar energy, bioenergy and wind power. More than 60 research institutes and industry partners are taking part in the projects, including the largest and most important research institutions in the Nordic countries. Five of the ten projects are being led from research institutes in Norway (including SINTEF, NTNU and IRIS).

More information available on the Nordic Energy Research website.

International Partnership for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells in the Economy (IPHE)

In connection with a minister's summit in November 2003, Norway became a partner in the International Partnership for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells in the Economy (IPHE), which was established by the US in the spring of 2003. This partnership contributes to organising, coordinating, and implementing international research, development and demonstration in connection with hydrogen and fuel cells. Participation also provides opportunities for Norwegian research institutes and industry to take part in IPHE projects. A total of 17 countries and the European Commission take part. The Ministry of Transport represent Norway on the steering committee and also serves on the technical committee alongside the Research Council of Norway. 

More information is available on the IPHE website.

Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum (CSLF)

CSLF was established in June 2003 on initiative from the US with a view to strengthen international cooperation within the promotion of further technology development and deploymentof CO2 capture and storage globally. Norway has been involved since the beginning. The forum will contribute to organising, coordinating and implementing international research, development and demonstration primarily in connection with two topic areas: development of technology for separation of CO2, and storage and use of CO2. CSLF currently has 25 member countries, including the European Commission which was invited directly. The Ministry of Petroleum and Energy is the Norwegian representative on the steering committee and also serves on the technical committee alongside Statoil and the Research Council of Norway.

More information is available on the CSLF website.

Memorandum of Understanding between Norway and the US

This is a bilateral research cooperation agreement within energy-related research and technology entered into in May 2004 by the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy and the US Department of Energy. Relevant topic areas are oil and gas production, CO2 capture and storage, hydrogen research and new renewable types of energy. The cooperation agreement represents a formal framework between Norway and the US opening up long term opportunities for collaboration on research, development and demonstration within these and other possible areas.