Photo: Nicholas Doherty
Arctic Opportunities for Energy and Research Collaboration: Norway and the US
From a climate change perspective, there is a sense of urgency regarding energy transition worldwide, one that has only increased in intensity due to the current situation in Europe. The discussions of the day covered numerous topics ranging from the challenges and possibilities that the U.S and the Norwegian Arctic communities face with the energy transition, to the role of society, research, and policymakers in the switch from fossil fuels to renewables and what solutions and opportunities businesses hold.
The seminar focused on research collaboration and business potential in Norway and Alaska, with a specific highlight on renewable energies. “This event highlighted the diversity across the Arctic region when it comes to energy transition – whether in terms of potential, accessibility, or mindset”, said Arctic Frontiers ED, Anu Fredrikson.
The communities that depend on fossil fuel revenues will need to find a new foundation for their economies, and companies need to work with the local population. Gaining local acceptance calls for stronger value creation proposals on the ground. If a project is to be successful, there needs to be economic benefits on multiple levels.
The first panel, From Blue to Smart Research Collaboration between Norway and the US, discussed future challenges and opportunities of intra-Arctic research collaboration with a specific focus on Alaska and Northern Norway. We heard about national initiatives to foster regional sustainable development and local collaboration. Additionally, panelists discussed what comes next for Arctic research, Arctic science diplomacy and changes for the pan-Arctic region.
The second part of the event, Harnessing the Power of the North: Norwegian and U.S. Perspectives for Renewable Energies in the Arctic, had two main focuses and panel discussions. The first discussion, between Kikki Flesche Kleiven, University of Bergen and Bjerknes Research Centre, and Ian Laing, Institute of the North, focused on Arctic Renewable Energy potential from both Alaska and Norway. The second panel focused on development potential and realities on the ground, bringing together business leaders from both countries. Morten Hillmann-Brugård, Freyr Battery, Chris Rose, Renewable Energy Alaska Project (REAP), Nagruk Harcharek, Ukpeagvik Inupiat Corporation and Penny Gage, Launch Alaska, spoke about business potential and the importance of local value chains in the discussion moderated by Arctic Frontiers Executive Director, Anu Fredrikson.
This Arctic Frontiers Abroad took place on Monday 26th September 2022 at the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Washington D.C. and was organised in collaboration with Nord University.