The mission of ARC is to perform interdisciplinary research within the field of renewable energy, for application within the arctic region.
This approach is important due to the current status of renewable energy: We have the necessary technology to produce power at even lower prices than fossil fuel generated electricity, but yet, the world is transforming in a surprisingly slow pace. Even with the current predictions for how climate change will affect us, new areas are being mapped for oil drilling sites, low efficiency techniques for extracting fossil fuels are still being developed (tar sands/fracking). And even new coal fired power plants are being built. Why is this?
It all boils down to communication and application. We we need to communicate across academic and national borders, to apply the technologies in such a way that they will make a difference.
The challenge of the transition
Different regions and countries have different potentials to extract energy from natural sources. Some have sun, some have wind, some have waves and some have waterfalls. Each region will have their ‘peaks‘ and ‘lows‘ of production at different times. In a small scaled system, these become the culprits of renewable energy systems. At the lows, there is not enough power, and conventional power plants are fired up. At the peaks, too much input is a danger to the grid, and can create catastrophic short circuits and power failures. This limits how much of a country’s supply can rely on renewable sources, and how efficient existing installations can be utilized. To compensate for this, we need to be technologically smart on a local level, and cooperate well on an international level.
We do need some technological advances to piece this giant puzzle together – but more than anything, we need to connect beyond academic, national and political borders. From an academic point of view, this means crossing disciplinary borders and combine technological, sociological and philosophical efforts into practically working solutions.Therefore we believe that interdisciplinary research is key to our advances within renewable energy in the Arctic.
We are doing research within seven key categories that cover a substantial part of the renewable energy field: Digitalization, Efficiency, Management of Greenhouse Gasses, Materials, Power Generation, Society and Ethics and Transportation. Learn more about our projects and get to know the researchers by exploring this section further!