Mette Bjørndal research director of new centre
The Research Council of Norway announced recently that the Norwegian Center for Energy Transition Strategies (NTRANS) is one of two centres that have been given the status as new research centers for environmentally friendly energy (FME).
Professor Mette Bjørndal at NHH will be Deputy Director at the Centre. Professor Gunnar S. Eskeland and Associate Professor Endre Bjørndal from NHH and SNF will be affiliated to the new centre. PhD fellows, post docs and others who are affiliated with the ENE centre at NHH will also be involved with NTRANS.
NTRANS will study transitions in the energy sector in the energy sector and related sectors and the role of the energy system in society towards becoming a zero-emission society.
The centre will bring together sociology, political science, economics, geography, science- and technology studies, innovation studies, optimization, consumer- and environmental psychology, industrial ecology, and law.
Through NTRANS, the researchers will build a knowledge base of the path towards and the consequences of the forthcoming energy transition for different groups in society. An important part of this is to find out how the energy transition can be done fairly and democratically, while at the same time giving the business sector opportunities for profitable innovation work.
Mette Bjørndal believes that the researchers affiliated to NTRANS have an important role in the public debate:
- When we look at the debate that is now taking place, for example on wind power, cables or tollroads, it is especially important that research centres like NTRANS, as independent institutions, find facts that are not driven by special interests. This applies in particular to areas where the change requires political decisions. Having researchers who look at what are advantages and disadvantages and are not coloured by their own interests can contribute to a more nuanced debate.
NTRANS brings together researchers from NTNU, Sintef, University of Oslo, NHH and SNF from Bergen, Institute of Energy Technology, Western Norway University of Applied Sciences and Western Norway Research Institute in Sogndal.
In addition, NTRANS consist of 30 user partners from different Norwegian businesses and governmental agencies and ten international partners from leading global communities.
Annually NTRANS aims to supervise 20–25 master’s students in the social sciences master’s programmes at NTNU, NHH, UiO, and HVL involving the students in the research. The centre will have 27 PhD-students and postdocs evenly distributed between the research areas.
The Research Council of Norway provides long-term funding for the FME/CEER Centres for Environment-friendly Energy Research.
The purpose is to bring the research at a high international standard, and with the aim of tackling energy-related challenges.