The Nordic Energy Challenge 2023 is approaching its concluding stage. This year’s top three candidates have now been selected by the jury. On 27 September, the Challenge will culminate with a declaration of the final winner at the Joint PhD & Researcher Mobility Conference in VisbySweden.

The top three challengers in the contest of claiming this year’s first place are:

The jury’s motivation

The jury is impressed with the comprehensiveness, reflectiveness, and level of detail of the three finalists’ Nordic Energy Challenge 2023 proposals. Despite the three proposals being different, they can contribute to making the Nordic energy sector more secure by increasing Nordic integration and regional self-sufficiency. In addition, one senses the drive and enthusiasm of the finalists that we look forward to welcoming in Gotland on 27 September at the winner ceremony.

Forward-looking finalists

In advance of the award ceremony, the finalists elaborate on how they came up with their ideas and what expectations they have on the conference.

Stefan and Fabian have worked together for several years on challenges related to cost- and energy-efficient energy system development, by combining their expertise in energy efficiency and energy systems modelling. “We’ve been discussing how deep-cut energy efficiency scenarios could affect the energy system, but it never reached the top of the priority list. The energy security issue gained importance in the last few years as reflected in the topic of this year’s Nordic Energy Challenge. Thus, we decided to combine deep-cut energy efficiency scenarios with energy security – the result is SENIOR project,” says Stefan. “At the conference in Gotland, we hope to discuss the SENIOR project with other researchers, to hear their points and transfer this research idea to them. We also hope to get inspired by presentations on other current topics.”

Laura’s idea originated from her master’s thesis, where she focused on the study of repurposing oil and gas wells to generate electricity. “The study exposed me to the possibility of utilizing the warm water associated with oil extraction for geothermal electricity production. Existing facilities and infrastructure, like these wells, hold the potential of addressing our energy needs more sustainably. Everything in the energy and sustainability sector is closely linked in today’s interconnected world, so what if we could bring the various research endeavours, institutes, and companies working with different focus under one umbrella?” says Laura. “My expectations for the upcoming conference in Gotland are to dive deeper into the diverse and ongoing projects across the Nordic region. Also, I look forward to meeting the other finalists, and am excited by the potential to network, collaborate, and share knowledge and experiences, in order to collectively advancing the energy transition in the Nordic region.”

Similar to Laura, Foivos‘ and Ignacio‘s idea emerged during their master’s studies, as construction professionals sought their expertise for the feasibility assessment of hydrogen projects. “During those interactions, we noticed that the challenge in assessing costs and dimensions for renewable energy systems frequently impeded the commencement of such projects. For this reason, we went to the drawing board and started developing a software that overcomes those challenges,” says Foivos. “The conference in Gotland serves as an eminent platform for unveiling our solutions to industry and academic experts. We anticipate gaining invaluable input for product development from high-level experts in the field. We’re also keen on learning from other innovations, as this will inform our own product development and market strategy. Moreover, we are very excited to interact with the finalists of the Nordic Energy Challenge and discuss their ideas. Lastly, the conference is an opportunity to acquire a nuanced understanding of industry trends and challenges, refining our strategic focus in the Nordic and global energy sectors.”