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LTU makes a difference at the UN climate conference

Published: 7 September 2021

In Qatar, the UN climate conference is underway, where environment ministers from around the world discuss commitments to reduce emissions of temperature-raising greenhouse gases. There, Sweden's three strategic research environments in sustainable energy will present the Swedish Model, something that researchers at Luleå University of Technology has significant participation in.

Participates in two of three research environments

Out of three national research environments in the renewable energy field, Luleå University of Technology (LTU) is involved in two; Bio4Energy and STandUP for Energy. Marcus Öhman, Professor and Head of Department at Energy Engineering at LTU and Deputy Coordinator at Bio4Energy, explains what the "Swedish Model" is about:

– System-wise, efficient. That we connect our energy activities across a wide line and an example is our innovation chain in the energy sector, where we have a strong interaction between science, society and industry. Sweden is good when it comes to detailed knowledge of energy technology. But something that should be highlighted even more is when it comes to interact in a chain, which is the only way to create sustainable energy system. There we are "outstanding" and have a lot we can teach to other countries.

Great potential in small hydropower

Staffan Lundström, Professor and Head of Department at Fluid Mechanics at LTU, is involved in the national environmental program, STandUP for Energy. There, he is one of eleven research leaders and a member of the management team. It is mainly LTU:s expertise in hydropower Staffan and his colleagues contribute with.

– Hydropower is a renewable energy source with global capability to reduce poverty and increase growth. Even small-scale hydro has great potential, but this will require that it is environmentally friendly, efficient and inexpensive, Staffan Lundström explains.

Swedes are good at collaboration

How come that Sweden is so good at creating a sustainable energy system?

– In general, I think Swedes are good at collaborating. Already in the 70's, we started at the municipal level to look at common solutions to heat cities. We built networks, started looking at waste streams and other things, Marcus Öhman says.

He is pleased that Sweden and LTU showcase their research to the world in the UN environmental conference.

– Sweden is a strong brand in the environment field. Looking at the share of renewable energy we are at the top and we are the country that is closest to a sustainable energy system, although we have a long way to go - especially in transport. LTU can attract good energy researchers from around the world, just in my research area, we now have scientists from all continents.

There is no doubt that the current energy system needs to be changed.

– Our generation has used oil as a drug to sustain prosperity. It will almost run out, and now you have to start using other more environmentally friendly fuels and energy sources, Marcus Öhman concludes.


Facts: three strategic investments in energy research


A research environment where the core is three Swedish universities, Umeå University, Luleå University of Technology and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU). The aim is to create tomorrow's green biorefinery. The whole process requires many sub-processes (tools) and the research is divided into seven platforms. Several companies and research institutes are partners. At LTU, seven research topics are involved.

STandUP for Energy

STandUP is led by Uppsala University with Luleå University of Technology, KTH and SLU as partners. The program brings together leading research groups to work towards a sustainable energy supply. At LTU, four research topics are involved.

Chalmers Energy Initiative

Research in areas such as hybrid vehicles and renewable electricity generation and integration with the grid.