Senior Adviser, Kevin Johnsen has worked at Nordic Energy Research since 2016. A master’s thesis and an interest in the World Energy Outlook led him by chance to Nordic Energy Research.

“In fact, it was quite a coincidence that I ended up at Nordic Energy Research. It was back in 2016, and I was in the process of completing my master’s thesis, which examined why the World Energy Outlook from the International Energy Agency (IEA) underestimated the importance of solar energy.  And at the same time, Nordic Energy Research was just about to publish Nordic Energy Technology Perspectives 2016, a collaborative project with the IEA, based on a different energy model than the one I had just reviewed in my thesis. Originally I had planned to stay in Bergen, but this was the perfect match, so I had to submit an application. In the following years I had the pleasure of making sure that the Nordic Energy Technology Perspectives were disseminated in places like COP22 in Marrakesh, at IEW Paris, and in various Nordic and Baltic capitals,” Kevin explains and continues;

“I have always been interested in and recognised the importance of research. Especially research leading to energy and climate solutions. Just before I started at Nordic Energy Research, I worked on a summer project for the University of Bergen. The assignment consisted of writing a concept paper on how the university could improve its master’s programs by comparing the study plans of the University of Bergen with study plans form other Nordic universities”.

It all began in Stavanger

Kevin’s interest in energy and climate already began when he was a child in Stavanger.

“I grew up in Stavanger, “the oil capital” of Norway, where enormous oil platforms and platform supply vessels arrive at, anchor in, and leave the harbour in a natural rhythm that forms the visual identity of the city. A city where “everyone” has a father or an uncle, who works in the oil industry. I think this impressed me and shaped my awareness of the importance of the energy industry, both locally and globally,” Kevin expresses as he puts into words, how the impressions of his childhood have influenced his choice of career.

“When you combine the impressions of my childhood with the general, growing awareness of the challenges posed by climate change, it felt natural for me to pursue a career where I can help develop the necessary solutions for a green transition with low CO2 emissions,” Kevin states and continues;

“Another aspect that makes the energy sector interesting is the speed, at which the sector is changing. One example is the total cumulative capacity of Solar Photovoltaics (PVs) in the world. In 2014 the capacity was 177 GW, in 2020 the capacity was more than quadrupled to 760,4 GW – a dramatic development which has taken place in just six years. 

Tasks and responsibilities

During the last five years Kevin has been responsible for various tasks at Nordic Energy Research.

“During  my time at Nordic Energy Research, I have had the pleasure of  initiating, developing, and managing a joint energy research program together with the three Baltic countries: The Joint Baltic-Nordic Energy Research programme. As well as managing three other research programmes: The NordGrid Program, Nordic Energy Outlooks and The Nordic or Nordic-Baltic PhD and Researcher Mobility Programme. And we are just about to publish the first large energy system analysis for the Nordic countries since 2016, Nordic Clean Energy Scenarios. Stay tuned and sign up for the launch on September 7th,.” Kevin encourages.

  • Name: Kevin Johnsen
  • Nationality: Norwegian
  • Education: Master’s degree in Energy (Civil Engineer) from the University of Bergen
  • Leisure: Outdoor activities, hanging out with friends at the local pub, political activity