Nordic Innovation Managing Director Svein Berg participating in a panel debate at an event during Nordic Clean Energy Week 2018

Nordic Energy Research and Nordic Innovation Joins Forces at the Nordic Clean Energy Week

From 21-25 May, Nordic Clean Energy Week is taking place in Copenhagen (Denmark) and Malmö (Sweden). During this week, all eyes are on the Nordics as the 9th Clean Energy Ministerial and the 3rd Mission Innovation are taking place. The overall theme for the week is Energy Integration and Transition: towards a competitive and innovative low carbon economy.  It is therefore only fitting that Nordic Innovation and Nordic Energy Research are joining forces this week.  

“The green energy transition is innovation in itself as it is improving the current energy system by making it sustainable. The most important task ahead is to encourage all parts of the society to engage in this development”, says Svein Berg, CEO of Nordic Innovation.  

“Our organisations’ competences complement each other well, and it makes sense to work together on these issues”, says CEO of Nordic Energy Research, Hans Jørgen Koch.  

Both organisations are located at the Nordic Centre together with NordForsk in Oslo and are hosting three events during the week (see end of the article). 

Nordic solutions to global challenges 

Nordic Energy Research is leading the  energy-related flagship project of the Nordic prime ministers’ initiative Nordic Solutions to Global Challenges, called Nordic Energy Solutions. 

“In phase one of the programme, we have planned to identify needs and priorities in east African countries, host workshops to discuss energy systems, and enhance Nordic cooperation. In April we helped arrange the first prime ministers’ initative workshop in Ethiopia”, says Koch.  

Nordic Innovation’s mission is to make the Nordic region a leading region for sustainable growth through increased entrepreneurship, innovation and competitiveness. They are leading the prime ministers’ initiative project Nordic Sustainable Cities, aimed at exporting Nordic sustainable solutions to urban development challenges.   

"There are many people with sustainable solutions to global challenges here in the Nordic region. We need to make sure they connect, share their knowledge and experiences. The synergies created through Nordic cooperation are invaluable, we see it all the time in our projects", says Berg.  

Long-standing tradition for Nordic energy cooperation 

There is a long-standing tradition of revolutionary cooperation on energy issues at the Nordic level. The European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (E-TSOE), a central component of EU’s internal gas and electricity market, is an extension of Nordel, a cooperation between the transmission system operators in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.  

Nordic Energy Research is the platform for cooperative energy research and policy development to reduce carbon emissions and enhance clean-tech in the Nordics. Koch believes access to clean energy and supportive policies give the Nordics a competitive advantage internationally. 

"We see that the Nordic region is becoming a leading destination for large energy intensive companies wishing to reduce their carbon footprint, this creates jobs and adds renewable energy to the grid, which is good for our region", he says.   

But the Nordics are more than just access to clean energy. Throughout the last decade, it has become a pioneering region in the electrical vehicle (EV) revolution  and it is now targeting carbon capturing technologies, which will be essential in order to reach the Paris Agreement.  

The Nordic region is well positioned to lead the energy transition.  Combined we are the world’s 12th largest economy, and we have all the resources,  knowledge and skills needed to create the smartest energy system in the world, which will lead to job creation and growth.  However, the continued cooperation on these issues is pivotal in order to succeed. 

“The industrial sector for green energy technologies is booming globally. If the Nordic countries miss the opportunity to cooperate closely in this field, the jobs will be created elsewhere”, says Koch. 

Towards a innovative low carbon economy

The Nordic countries are, according to the International Energy Agency, 25 years ahead of the best in the world in de-carbonisation of electric production, Koch explains. Moreover, the Nordics are world-leading when it comes to cleantech innovations. Denmark, Sweden and Finland ranked the highest in the 2017 Global Cleantech Innovation Index. The region has good prerequisites to create a competitive and innovative low carbon economy, but more needs to be done to reach the full Nordic potential. 

"R&D is clearly a priority amongst the Nordic governments, which enhances innovation. This is good, but we must not forget that Nordic entrepreneurs must learn how to commercialise and scale their businesses. I cannot stress that enough", Berg says.  


22nd of May: 

Bridging the Gap Between Cleantech R&D and Commercialization: Best Practices from the Nordic Countries 

23rd of May: 

Sustainable Urban Solutions  

24th of May: 

Sustainable Future Energy Systems – Smarter, Integrated and CO2-Negative