This year the University of Bergen, the Norwegian University of Science and Technology and the University of Oslo gathered 29 PhD-students working within the field of energy to the 2021 interdisciplinary NorRen Summer School. The summer school took place in Bjørnafjorden, just outside Bergen, with an overarching focus on energy production and consumption, and a particular emphasis on the increased integration of energy end-use and supply sectors with one another. The participants were also given insight into legal and financial framework conditions of the new emerging technologies. Other perspectives were also covered, including lectures on social acceptance and a just energy transition.
View one´s own research from new perspectives
The PhD-candidates were all from Norwegian universities (UiB, NTNU, UiO, USN, HVL, UiT, NMBU and UiA) and from a wide spectre of disciplines. Many of the students have an international background. One of the key aspects of the summer school is its collaborative educational environment—participants worked in interdisciplinary groups throughout the week on a topical project and presented their work on the last day of the summer school.
– The NorRen Summer School offers our PhD-students an opportunity to view their own research from a new perspective and get a broader understanding of how their research fits as part of a larger context, says Kristin Frøysa Guldbrandsen, Energy Director at UiB and member of the NorRen organising committee.
Energy, psychology, economics and law
PhD-student Sajjad Ahmadigoltapeh from the Department of Geosciences at the University of Oslo was one of the participants. He found the program interesting and useful:
– NorRen Summer School is a good opportunity to learn about all the related aspects of energy. For instance, before attending NorRen, I was unaware of the connection between energy and psychology, economics and law. Now, I have learned that energy may influence every aspect of life, he says.
PhD-student Mirjam Dyrhovden Fjell from the Department of Physics and Technologies at UiB also found it both an interesting and inspiring experience:
– I really enjoyed participating in the NorRen Summer School. The lectures were interesting and covered a wide range of topics, with engaged lecturers and good discussions. It was both instructive and inspiring to meet other PhD-students with various backgrounds and from various disciplines. The mix between lectures, group work, the excursion and social activities was very good, she says.
Impressed by the students´ efforts
The program included experts from academia, the public sector and industry highlighting challenges as well as opportunities within energy production, storage and use. Midweek there was an excursion to Stord, visiting Midtfjellet Wind Park followed by a tour of the Aker Solutions yard where, among other things, the foundations of Hywind Tampen were built. The day ended back in Os, with a nice dinner at the Oseana Culture House, one of the first buildings in Norway with truly building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV).
– It is a hectic and packed week. We provide the framework, but it is the students themselves that make the summer school a success. I am really impressed by the effort they put into it. There were lots of questions and very active dialogue with all the lecturers, and the more informal exchanges continued long into the evening, says Vebjørn Bakken, Director of UiO:Energy.