Taking a pause in his education before continuing towards a master’s degree, Erling Gjerde Førland is employed as an intern in Nordic Energy Research’s communications team. With a background in sustainability, foreign affairs, and research projects, Nordic Energy Research is the perfect step for Erling to build upon his previous experiences.

“Having touched upon energy previously, I look forward to digging deeper into the field from a research point of view. Especially within the Nordic context, with its unique geographical possibilities to accelerate sustainable solutions,” says Erling.

Mountain hiking like a true norwegian. Here from the top of Trolltunga in June 2023.

“As a political junkie, you realise the scope of the energy sector in daily life at an early stage. However, it wasn’t until my time in Brussels that I recognized and really understood the enormous tempo of flows of regulations, initiatives, and packages concerning energy transition, all aimed at enhancing the green shift. It’s almost impossible to keep track of the sustainable steps that companies, governments, and researchers take on a daily basis. Whether it’s within CCUS, the electricity market, or the transition of the maritime industry, the constant development can sometimes be difficult to navigate through. As I see it, this makes external communication even more important, to make complex information understandable and accessible for the broader Nordic family and beyond.”

Erling will mainly be working on renewing Nordic Energy Research’s website, supporting the communication of ongoing research projects and funding opportunities, and facilitating upcoming events.

International environment in his hometown

After both studying in the French capital of the Alps, Grenoble, and working for the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Brussels, Erling appreciates coming back to the capital of Norway while still interacting with colleagues internationally.

“After a few spells abroad, I really appreciate being able to live in my hometown of Oslo while also being part of such a diverse workplace like Nordic Energy Research. Here, people from across the world come together, and I’m really pleased to be working with such dedicated colleagues from the Nordic region. This creates a vibrant international work environment where we collaborate to find solutions.”

Nordic cooperation more important than ever before

It’s safe to say that the importance of cohesion and togetherness between the Nordic countries hasn’t exactly decreased in recent years, Erling elaborates.

“As a Norwegian and Nordic citizen, the recent energy crises in Europe highlight how essential energy cooperation is, especially in a Nordic context. The unifying role of the Nordic Council of Ministers has become increasingly important as the Nordic countries continue to showcase regional and international collaboration in today’s unstable worldview. I look forward to getting to know the Nordic Council of Ministers for Sustainable Growth better and the part Nordic Energy Research plays in the Nordic cooperation.”

In Erling’s perspective, the Nordic region continues to maintain its leading position in renewable energy management and acts more united than ever before. The Nordic cooperation is a unique set of common values, setting a great foundation for innovative and sustainable energy solutions.

Challenges that motivate

The great complexity of sustainable challenges within the green shift is what drives Erling’s motivation to work for Nordic Energy Research.

“There’s nothing better than putting yourself out there and enjoying a steep learning curve with encouraging colleagues along the way. Especially within such a technical field as the energy sector, where I, as a political scientist, can tend to look at the broader picture rather than digging deep into the details. I look forward to the great rewards of working in the communications team, getting unique insights into the different research programmes and projects at Nordic Energy Research.”

  • Name: Erling Gjerde Førland
  • Nationality: Norwegian
  • Education: BSc in Comparative Politics from the University of Bergen (UiB)
  • Leisure: Travelling, football, and music that makes me feel like I was born in the wrong era