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ENERGIX-Stort program energi

EnergyWise: Integrated modelling of efficient and acceptable expansion of renewable energy in times of nature and climate crises

Alternative title: EnergyWise: Helhetlig modellering av effektiv og akseptabel økning i fornybar energiproduksjon i en tid med natur- og klimakrise

Awarded: NOK 10.8 mill.

Project Number:

344392

Project Period:

2023 - 2027

Funding received from:

Location:

The energy transition to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will require a massive expansion of renewable energy production in Norway; at the same time, the nature crisis must be considered on par with the climate crisis. In addition, attempts at renewable energy expansion have stalled due to conflict and distributional impacts, demonstrating that economic efficiency cannot be separated from the acceptability and equity of policies and outcomes. Hence, a more holistic approach is required to balance climate, nature, and wider societal interests. EnergyWise is an interdisciplinary project aiming to synthesise and assess the most important impacts on society, economy, climate, and nature from the renewable energy expansion in Norway. The project will further integrate these impacts as costs/benefits or sustainability constraints in the national energy system model framework called TIMES. With the expansions of the model made in the EnergyWise project, the TIMES framework will be used to analyse trade-offs and distributional effects of renewable energy expansion scenarios and recommend efficient and acceptable policies that can achieve a better balance between different interests. The project has six work packets (WP) where WP1 syntesise the impacts of the renewable energy expansion, WP2 focuses on valuing non-market impacts of the expansion, WP3 conducts integrated energy system modelling using TIMES with additional values and constraints included for a more holistic analysis and WP4 analyses policies and regulations and provides recommendations. WP5 is focused on user collaboration and dissemination, while WP6 is devoted to project management. Researchers from Statistics Norway, the Institute for Energy Technology, the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research, and Menon Economics will implement the project in cooperation with collaborators from several government institutions, the Energy Regulator, Statkraft, private and NGO sectors, and a scientific advisory board.

The energy transition will require a massive expansion of renewable energy production in Norway. At the same time, the nature crisis needs to be considered on par with the climate crisis. Further, attempts at energy expansion have stalled due to conflict and distributional impacts, demonstrating that economic efficiency cannot be separated from acceptability and equity of policies and outcomes. Hence, a more holistic approach is required to achieve a better balance between climate, nature and wider societal interests. We propose an interdisciplinary project that aims to synthesise and assess the most important impacts on society and economy, climate and nature from renewable energy expansion and integrate these either as monetised welfare effects (costs and benefits) or as sustainability constraints in an integrated national energy system model framework. This framework will be used to analyse trade-offs and distributional effects of expansion scenarios and recommend efficient and acceptable policies that can achieve a better balance between interests. Hence, the proposed project addresses the main topic and challenges of the call and portfolio plan: “The need for comprehensive understanding and knowledge of the issues and trade-offs we face “..” when “Development of new energy production and infrastructure puts pressure on land and biodiversity, while efficient resource management is more important than ever.” Further, we address the two priority areas of the call in an interdisciplinary way, “generating knowledge of power markets, regulations….and distributional effects” and taking head on “controversial topics involving conflicting societal interests”. Researchers from Statistics Norway, Institute for Energy Technology, Norwegian Institute for Nature Research, and Menon will implement the project in cooperation with collaborators from government, e.g. Environment Agency, the Energy Regulator, Statkraft, private and NGO sectors, and a scientific advisory board.

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Funding scheme:

ENERGIX-Stort program energi