Centre of excellence for renewable energy
Norrbotten is home to some of Sweden’s most energy intensive industries such as the steel company SSAB, the mining company LKAB and the paper industry. A great deal of hydro electric power is produced here, e.g. along the Lule River. Wind power is also on the way to becoming significant in Norrbotten. It is therefore natural that energy is an important subject at Luleå University of Technology, LTU. The research focus is on bioenergy, hydro power, wind power and energy efficiency. The sustainable use of resources has been designated a priority research area.
“LTU participates in two of the three research areas that the government has designated as strategic within energy. I feel this proves that we maintain a position at the forefront of research. We have many good collaborative research projects with companies, other universities and research institutes and we provide many basic courses in the energy sector. We pursue leading edge corporate research and parallel basic research financed by e.g. the Swedish Research Council.” says Marcus Öhman, Professor at the Department of Energy Technology at LTU.
“We are a long way ahead in bioenergy. We have gathered together large parts of Norrland’s research resources in the area to the Bio4Energy research programme. The objective is to create tools for new bio-refineries and bioenergy trusts. For example, one of our advances shows how to produce methanol from the paper industry’s waste products.”
Hydro-electric power has a long history and intensive research efforts are under way within the framework of the Swedish Hydropower Centre where companies and universities alike work together. LTU also participates in the Stand up for Energy research project for sustainable energy supplies together with the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, the KTH Royal Institute of Technology and Uppsala University. LTU has access to a research generator set at the Porjus power station that is unique in a global perspective and there are plans for a research installation for the evaluation of carbon-neutral technologies in small-scale wind power.
“A lot of the research into hydro-electric power can also be applied to wind power, and the latter is enjoying a strong upswing in Norrbotten. We have a great opportunity to be at the forefront of research concerning wind power in cold climates and the special conditions that this involves,” says Marcus Öhman.
There are in all around 150 scientists active within energy research at LTU.