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Major investment in new center for sustainable hydropower

Published: 22 December 2021

In fierce competition, the Swedish Energy Agency chose to invest in the Swedish Center for Sustainable Hydropower, where Luleå University of Technology is the main applicant.

– I am happy and proud that we have been entrusted to run one of the Swedish Energy Agency's competence centers, says Staffan Lundström, professor of fluid mechanics at Luleå University of Technology and responsible for the project.

The application to the Swedish Energy Agency was made together with Energiforsk. Staffan Lundström is grateful for the great support and commitment received from industry, authorities and the other participating universities throughout the application process.

Hydropower has an important role to play in the electrification and conversion of the energy system through flexible, reliable, secure and sustainable electricity supply. To shoulder this role, new knowledge is required about the balance between electricity production of hydropower, hydropower's environmental impact, safety and societal issues.

– The competence center is large, in total it is about 280 million SEK and even if it does not start until after the summer of next year, it will be important to immediately after the Christmas holidays get started with the planning and design of the first projects, says Staffan Lundström.

Research and innovation initiatives

Luleå University of Technology is also involved as a co-applicant at the Competence Center for Sustainable Turbine Fuels for Aviation and Power Production (CESTAP) and the Leaf Competence Center – sustainable forest, materials and energy.

The competence center is one of the tools in the Swedish Energy Agency's portfolio of research and innovation initiatives. The purpose of the competence center model is to strengthen the collaboration between business, the public sector and academia and thus build up and make available both knowledge of the highest quality and competence for society's conversion to a sustainable energy system.

In 2020 and 2021, the Swedish Energy Agency conducted a call for a Competence Center for a Sustainable Energy System. The interest in the announcement was great. A total of 29 applications were submitted. In December, the Swedish Energy Agency decided on support for eleven of the centers for a total amount of SEK 594 million spread over five years.