ITS Associate professor Marianne Zeyringer one of three finalists at the Nordic Energy Challenge 2020.

Zeyringer is happy to have contributed with her ideas for a common Nordic zero carbon energy future. The online competition that took place on November the 3rd, sparked thoughts on how the participants could work together in the future to seek funding opportunities for such a project.

Bringing researchers from different scientific disciplines and artists together

Associate professor Marianne Zeyringer's research aim, is to contribute to the transformation to future net-zero energy systems.

The associate professor’s contribution in the challenge, titled “Unlocking the renewableenergy potential in the Nordics - Energy systems modelling as a tool to understand opposition and increase acceptance and collaboration”, is about bringing researchers from different scientific disciplines and artists together. Firstly to use energy systems modelling as a participatory tool to understand Nordic citizens vision of the future energy systems and collaboration across countries. Secondly to discuss those co-designed energy futures with the public through artistic performances.

Asked for three submissions

The organization Nordic Energy Research asked this autumn for submissions that:

  • Featured scenarios for a 2050 carbon neutral Nordic society with competitive sustainable solutions, a 2040 carbon neutral Nordic energy system, and a 2030 carbon neutral Nordic electricity system.
  • Described how different barriers can be handled on the pathway towards 2050.
  • Described the added value of Nordic cooperation.

- Energy and power system models are used to map transitions to low carbon societies and to advise policy and planning on how to achieve them. Usually energy/power system modellers sit in their universities, defining scenarios and publishing reports mostly aimed at other academics or policy makers. There is very little input from lay people into the design of the scenarios and little communication from researchers to the general public, says associate professor Marianne Zeyringer.

- However, with a pressing urgency to mitigate climate change and making the energy transition successful, we need everyone to be on board.

An important puzzle stone in a common Nordic zero carbon energy future

-My project takes a novel approach bringing together an interdisciplinary team of scientists, educators and artists. Participation across the Nordics shall trigger a common understanding of all sitting in the same boat and being an important puzzle stone in a common Nordic zero carbon energy future. The project team will jointly use energy system models as a participatory tool to co-design energy scenarios and share those via artistic performances with the public conveying the urgency of action to young and old audience across the Nordics, says Zeyringer.

- Great opportunity to think creatively and completely outside existing disciplinary boundaries, frameworks and funding schemes

- I am happy to have been chosen to participate and discuss with the other finalists and audience our ideas for a 2050 carbon neutral Nordic society. The Nordic Energy Challenge is a great opportunity to think creatively and completely outside existing disciplinary boundaries, frameworks and funding schemes, says Zeyringer.  For her, the online challenge was a positive experience:
- The online studio was a really good format, similar to an award ceremony on TV. All candidates presented a video about their idea and where then interviewed by a member of the jury. I had a really interesting conversation with professor Peter Lund from Aalto University. It was great meeting the other finalists, who were all interested in interdisciplinary research. As a follow-up to the challenge, I have been in touch with some of the participants on ideas how we as researchers could work together with artists, and are already looking into funding opportunities for such a project.

Nordic Energy Challenge a way to encourage stakeholders

Nordic Energy Research wants to shape innovative research and promote new ideas with exciting perspectives that bring added value to the Nordic region. With this goal in mind we created the Nordic Energy Challenge as a way to encourage energy stakeholders – including companies, researchers, non-profit organizations, think-tanks, students and individuals – to come up with innovative solutions to the green transition. Source:www.nordicenergy.org

By Mette Johnsrud
Published Nov. 16, 2020 8:48 AM - Last modified Nov. 18, 2020 8:29 AM