Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Lectures at NTNU

Today we visited the Norwegian University of Science and Technology to listen to several different presentations on renewable energy. We were also able to tour research labs.
Today we went to the Norwegian University of Science and Technology and listened to six different lectures. (Don't worry, each lecture was 30 minutes long. We didn't have to sit for six hours.)

The lectures covered various aspects of energy production, including the smart grid, political and economic considerations of renewable energy, energy security, and even large permanent magnet machines.

Spencer and Parker in front of NTNU.

Our first lecture was delivered by Epsen Moe, a political scientist at NTNU. He started by discussing the politics behind renewable energy, adding another dimension to the renewable energy discussion that we previously had left untouched.

Epsen Moe
Epsen Moe lecturing on the political and economic implications of renewables.

One of the lecturers discussed markets for renewable power and how Norway should treat its large energy reserves (large interconnecting systems of lakes and rivers at high altitudes).

Norway alone contains half of the hydroelectric power potential in all of Europe, making it a strategic player in the renewable energy market.

Magnus Korpås
Magnus Korpås discussing Norway's place in the renewable energy market.

Our final lecturer talked about the "smart grid" and its potential for helping municipalities to conserve energy and more effectively utilize resources.

Smart grid technology is becoming more popular around the world as its potential is being realized. Smart grids are electrical grids that do not merely deliver electricity to customers, but also deliver information regarding energy usage patterns back to the energy supplier.

The better we understand our electrical systems, the more effectively they can be optimized to maximize resource utilization.

Kjell Sand
Kjell Sand discussing the benefits of smart grid technology.

Today's lectures were an excellent overview of renewable energy from a Norwegian perspective. We were given wonderful insight into the Norwegian approach to renewables and the forces at play behind renewable energy policy across the globe.

Following the final lecture, we were offered a tour of the research facilities at NTNU that are currently being used to look into more effective motors and generators.

Touring the labs at NTNU
Robert Nilssen showing us the labs.

Today's visit to NTNU was a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the details of incorporating renewables into our society and the role that they play at the political and economic levels.

While it may be easy to get caught up in the science and theory behind developing a renewable energy method, the impact of that technology in society must always be taken into account.

This visit was an excellent reminder that we need to take holistic approaches to considering renewable energy and not get caught up in just the science behind the methods.

The group at NTNU
The group at NTNU.