Breakout session 2

NTNU and SINTEF 6th annual European Strategy Summit

Location: Thon Hotel Bristol Stephanie, Av. Louise 91, 1050 Brussels

Session 2 – day 1

Breakout session 2 – day 1

Delivering on REPowerEU and the Green Deal - North Sea Potential, Transition pathways and timeline for contributions


Session Chairs: Inge Røinaas Gran, CEO, Energy Research SINTEF, and Olav Bolland, Dean, Faculty of Engineering, NTNU

1. «Norway and the North Sea: How to deliver on energy and the green transition?» by Per Strand Sjaastad, Norwegian Ambassador to Belgium, and Deputy Head of the Mission of Norway to the EU   

2. «The North Sea potential as a Europe's green powerhouse» by Raphael Sauter, Team Leader, Networks and Regional initiatives, DG Energy , European Commission

3. «Renewable technologies» by Fridtjof Unander, Chief Economist, Aker Horizons   

4. «Healthy Oceans – Harvesting energy while respecting Nature» by Thorsten Kiefer, Exectutive Director, JPI Oceans   

5. «Energy research in Europe related to REPowerEU» by Leen Govaerts, Unit Manager, VITO/EnergyVille, and Vice-Chair EERA

6. «International R&I cooperation to accelerate the energy transition» by Rune Volla, Director, Research Council of Norway

Panel discussion with presenters and Q&A from the audience.

Session 2 – day 2

Breakout session 2 – day 2

The way ahead – How can Norway contribute  


Session Chairs: Johan Einar Hustad Director, NTNU Energy, and Mona Jacobsen Mølnvik, Research Director, SINTEF Energy Research

Setting the scene by Nils Anders Røkke, EVP Executive Vice President, SINTEF Sustainability

1. «EU – Norway: aiming to meet the challenge together» by Per Strand Sjaastad, Norwegian Ambassador to Belgium and Deputy Head, the Norwegian Mission to the EU   

2. «Hotspots for Research» by Jeroen Schuppers, Deputy Head, Clean Energy Transition, European Commission   

3. «Norway Energy Hub – driving the energy transition together» by Henriette Undrum, Vice President, Equinor, and Project Director, Norway Energy Hub

4. «Hydrogen and CO2 infrastructure – delivering clean energy to Europe» by Elisabeth Alne Hendriks, Department Engineer, Gassco

5. «Perspectives from an Electrolyser manufacturer» by Constantine Levoyannis, Head of European Affairs NEL

6. «CCS – the road ahead» by Chris Bolesta, Team Leader Decarbonisation of energy sources, CCUS, DG Energy, European Commission

Panel discussion with presenters and Q&A from the audience.

Breakout session 2

The North Sea contribution to REPowerEU

Europe is facing a dual challenge: To ensure energy security by becoming independent of Russian gas as fast as possible while still holding on to the 2050 goals of the green and digital transition. The first is, in the short-term, critical for Europe as the conflict in Ukraine has directly diminished Russia's gas supplies to Europe. However, even though Europe is facing exceptionally high energy prices and a potential energy shortage in the upcoming winter, everything points in the direction that the ambitions of the European Green Deal are not reduced. On the contrary, the European Commission clearly expresses that the way forward is accelerating the decarbonizing of the economy, driven by the need to improve the EU's energy security and ensure affordable energy to protect the economy, the citizens, and the green transition.

At the UN climate change conference – COP26 in 2021, SINTEF and NTNU highlighted the potential of the North Sea as a perfect hub for green industries (PDF in Norwegian) with climate-friendly solutions with low negative impacts on nature. Former offshore installations can be repurposed as energy hubs supplying ships with hydrogen and facilitating CO2 storage, helping transport and heavy industry onto the challenging path to decarbonization. A future North Sea network could include offshore wind farms with extensive cable and pipeline connections between countries.

In May this year, Denmark, together with Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany, set ambitious joint targets, through the «The Esbjerg Declaration» (PDF), to ensure that the North Sea becomes Europe's green powerhouse through collaborative offshore energy projects and energy islands. The declaration states that the countries will be able to deliver half of the green offshore wind power required by the EU in 2050 to reach the objective of climate neutrality. The goals set will provide at least 65 GW of offshore wind power by 2030 and to increase the capacity to at least 150 GW by 2050. On the other side, the Norwegian government has also signalled plans to award licenses for around 30 GW of offshore wind by 2040 in the North Sea, which could provide almost as much electricity as all of Norway's current consumption. In September this year, nine North Sea countries at the «North Seas Summit» followed up by supporting the recent initiatives with ambitious new offshore wind targets. They adopted a joint statement with offshore deployment targets to build at least 260 GW of offshore wind by 2050, with intermediate targets of 193 GW by 2040 and 76 GW of offshore wind by 2030. That is 85 per cent of the EU's current offshore wind target of 300 GW by 2050.