In 2017 UiT established the Arctic Centre for Sustainable Energy (ARC). ARC is an interdisciplinary centre focusing on Arctic challenges and conditions within renewable
The center’s main objectives are:
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The Board is ARC's main decision-making body. The Board consists of representatives (deans, department heads or senior scientific staff) from the four active faculties, as well as a representative from the rector team at UiT.
The day-to-day management is done by the ARC leader, who has the overall responsibility and management function for the academic and administrative activities of the centre. The ARC leader is supported by the ARC project coordinator.
The Management Team consists of seven Research coordinators and their deputies. They are responsible for the coordination of the activities and projects that fall within ARC's seven research areas.
Latest news | 17 January 2023
Did you know..? ARC courses at UiT
One of ARC’s main objectives is to ensure that graduates receive high quality education and expertise within renewable energy and CO2 management. One way to do this is that the center itself creates and runs individual study programs. While this is an option, ARC has chosen a slightly diffeent approach to achieve the center's educational aspirations. We believe that sustainability and knowledge about the green transition is relevant for students across a variety of disciplines. The center therefore focuses on incorporating these topics into already existing study programs, either as new, interdisciplinary courses, or as additional content in the programs’ core classes.
One such example is Energiomstilling: fra teori til praksis (Energy transitions: from theory to practice), a case-based 10-credit course that gives students hands-on experience with energy transitions in the north. This is a fairly new course developed specifically to train students to look at issues and challenges around local transitions cases from an interdisciplinary perspective – because this is how the interaction between society and technology operates in real life.
Another example is the five year study program Klima og miljøovervåkning (Climate and environmental monitoring), which contains several ARC-related courses and specializations. As a student of Klima and miljøovervåkning, you could for instance choose to specialize in carbon storage and learn about environmental geology and applied geophysics. Although the program itself is facilitated by the Faculty of Science and Technology and is therefore mostly mathematics and natural sciences-based, it also possible to take elective courses at other faculties in the 6th, 7th and 8th semester.
In the “Education” section on this website you can see a list of ARC-related courses offered at the university. If you want to know more about the programs, just simply click on the program name and you’ll be redirected to an UiT-page where you can read about the program description and the admission requirements. Perhaps you will even find your future study program?
23.11.2022 - Fyrtårn Project SusSTEMED
18.11.2022 - ARC Digitalization seminar
12.10.2022 - ARC mini symposium
15.06.2022 - ARC seminar Toril Ringholm
07.06.2022 - ARC seminar - Chiara Bordin
18.05.2022 - ARC seminar - Katja Karppinen
09.05.2022 - ARC seminar - Clara Good
07.04.2022 - ARC seminar - Hoai Phuong Ha
31.03.2022 - ARC seminar - Berit Kristoffersen
29.03.2022 - ARC seminar - Filippo Bianchi
24.03.2022 - ARC seminar - Hans C. Bernstein
18.02.2022 - Presentation: The ARC Methodology
15.02.2022 - ARC seminar - Jennifer Claire Hayward
10.02.2022 - ARC seminar - Matteo Chiesa
Research coordinator: Hoai Phuong Ha
Deputy: Filippo Maria Bianchi
ARC-researchers in the Digitalization area work on finding solutions to some of the challenges that the development of renewable energy systems bring about, while at the same time making use of the opportunities that technology shifts present.
For instance, renewable energy systems typically produce varying loads, which in turn complicates voltage stability and the capacity of the electrical distribution grid. On the other hand, new inventions such as smart metering and digital algorithms can be used to optimize electricity usage and open new energy markets. Digital technologies are key to both.
Digitalization also contributes to climate neutrality goals via advanced climate and environmental observation. These observations are needed to understand and predict the flux of greenhouse gases and air pollutants. However, according to the European Green Deal challenges, in-situ measurements for hotspots with strong emissions of greenhouse gases and air pollutants are still lacking. ARC-researchers respond directly to this by studying and developing energy-efficient autonomous in-situ measurement technologies.
Ongoing projects and activities
Research coordinator: Bjarte Hoff
In the research area of eSystems, ARC scientists are working on the future electric energy systems and conversion technology. Electrification of our society creates new types of energy systems that come with new challenges.
In electric transport, the introduction of components like batteries, hydrogen fuel cells, and electric motors changes the on-board energy system in electric vehicles, ships, and aircrafts. In the electricity grid, the introduction of distributed and intermittent renewable energy changes our grid with local production and power electronic converters. These alter the grid's behaviour and challenge its stability and protection schemes. Power electronic converters are a key enabler for electrification and control of electric power, hence an important research activity within eSystems.
eSystems contribute to climate neutrality goals through electrification and preparing energy systems for an increased amount of renewable energy and sustainable energy carriers like hydrogen. With electric energy from renewable sources, fossil fuel can be replaced by more sustainable solutions.
Koen van Greevenbroek
See overview of Bjarte Hoff's published articles here.
Ongoing projects and activities
Research coordinator: Hans C. Bernstein
Deputy: Katja Karppinen
Science and technology that address the climate crisis are now a priority for all, but Arctic societies are unique stakeholders because we are experiencing the most rapid changes on the planet. Atmospheric carbon dioxide levels are at a historic high, recently surpassing 400 ppm for the first time in human history.
We are also contending with historic atmospheric methane gas concentrations, which has 84-times greater heat trapping effects than carbon dioxide. The people of the Arctic – together with the world – have reached the understanding that emission reductions are necessary for sustainability but we must also invest in new technologies for carbon capture, sequestration and utilization. Biological organisms, such as plants, algae and bacteria, can capture carbon and integrate into their metabolites and biomass. In plants, the molecules are mostly integrated as sugar molecules into cell wall components, such as cellulose. The annual production of cellulose through photosynthesis is estimated to be 15 x 1012 tons, forming a major sink and reservoir for carbon that can be utilized for sustainable bioenergy production.
How will ARC provide solutions? We support research, education and industrial cooperation with the ultimate goal of controlling the accumulation of carbon from the atmosphere and aid its utilization for bioenergy solutions. We believe that fostering fundamental science and innovation together with raising public awareness will lead to measurable action. ARC’s mission is unique because of its focus on social and economic drivers in high latitude societies.
Projects and activities
Research coordinator: Abhik Ghosh
Deputy: Matteo Chiesa
Material technology is one of the columns on which a new future is built. The properties of a new material can be the difference to make or break a new concept. In the world of renewable energy, material science has been one of the main reasons that solar cell technology has become so efficient and cheap at the same time.
Ongoing projects and activities
About the Research coordinator
Abhik Ghosh grew up in India and did his Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota under the tutelage of Paul G. Gassman, while also extensively collaborating with Jan Almlöf (formerly a professor at UiO and a professor II at UiT). After postdoctoral stints in bioinorganic chemistry with Larry Que and David Bocian, he took up a faculty position at UiT in 1996, where he has been full professor since 2000. He was a Senior Fellow of the San Diego Supercomputer Center (1997-2004) and on several occasions a Visiting Professor at the University of Auckland, New Zealand (2006-2015). Since 2021, he has led the UiT’s Center for Sustainable STEM Education.
Abhik has served on the editorial boards of the Journal of Biological Inorganic Chemistry, the Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry, and the Journal of Porphyrins and Phthalocyanines. He edited the popular science book Letters to a Young Chemist (Wiley, 2011) and coauthored the textbook Arrow Pushing in Inorganic Chemistry: A Logical Approach to the Chemistry of the Main Group Elements (Wiley, 2014); the latter won the 2015 PROSE Award for Best Textbook in the Mathematical and Physical Sciences. In 2022, he became a member of the European Academy of Sciences and also received the Hans Fischer Career Award for Lifetime Achievements in Porphyrin Chemistry. As a gay chemist, Abhik has been involved in a variety of projects aimed at diversifying chemistry.
Abhik’s research interests center broadly around soft materials based on porphyrin analogues and their applications to both medicine and renewable energy. Current projects in his laboratory focus on
(a) synthetic method development
(b) photodynamic therapy and cancer theranostics
(c) dye-sensitized solar cells
(d) fluorinated materials
(e) functionalization of low-dimensional, especially 2D, materials
and (f) high- and low-valent transition metal compounds and their applications to catalysis and renewable energy
Research coordinator: tba
The earth is a giant solar driven entity, where nearly all life and physical processes are run by solar power. ‘What?’ you say, “but wind, waves and hydropower are different sources of energy!”. They are different forms of energy, but their source is still the sun.
Different temperatures in different areas of the atmosphere leads to different pressures. The equalization of this pressure is what we experience as wind. And the sun is the source of these temperature differences. Hydropower is driven by rainfall, collected in vast reservoirs. The rainfall is a result of evaporated water, due to the sun heating oceans and moist land. Waves are actually a result of winds moving the sea, where the wind as mentioned is originating from sunshine.
The only sources of power that are not solar are tidal forces, which in effect is ‘moon power’; the gravitational pull from the moon moves the oceans. And geothermal power, which is generated by the gravitational pressure of the earth, melting the innermost structures, and heating the earth from within.
In total, the sun provides about 10 000 times the amount of energy that is used globally in a year. In other words: If we stored all the energy from one hour of incoming sunshine, we would have enough power to run the world for one year! This says all there is about whether or not it is possible to establish a modern society based on renewable sources. It is a question of solving the practical issues. This section will be updated with the research ARC is doing to solve these issues for arctic regions.
Cladua. S. W. Cheng
ONGOING PROJECTS OR ACTIVITIES
Research coordinator: Berit Kristoffersen
Deupty: Jennifer Clare Heyward
The transition from a global society dependent on oil towards a sustainable society based upon renewable energy is one of the biggest challenges of our time. Such a process brings up everything from ethical to societal questions that need to be considered, in order to build a solid foundation for the solutions that are being implemented.
Philosophy and social sciences are important tools to be one step ahead of the development, and guide and coordinate technological and social evolution. They lay down the stepping stones that are needed to cross the boundaries between theory and practice when exploring new territories. And are key to achieve the social and international cooperation that is needed for success on a larger scale.
Research coordinator: Clara Good
Deputy: Mohamad Mustafa
We are all familiar with the electric car. But did you know that there is an electric fishing boat in Senja, and two electric airplanes in Bardu? ARC is testing and developing further possibilities within low carbon transport at these sites. We need to develop more then just ground based transport alternatives, to achieve a complete transition to an oil free society.
Sea- and air alternatives are as important in the bigger picture. The two first electric airplanes to be tested in an arctic environment were recently delivered to an airbase in Bardu, North Norway. They were baptised in the norwegian soda ‘Solo’, and taken for a first spin on the tarmac (video). But this project is not only about testing the capability of the airplanes. It is about testing the whole chain of components required to make them run on locally produced electricity. The hangar walls have been covered with solar panels and and the energy is stored on site, so that the planes can be charged without using power from the external grid. The project can be seen as a protoype of a renewable energy airport, that can be scaled up to commercial sizes, based on the information from this test.
The same goes for the fishing boat, where the bottle neck is the need for highly efficient charging stations. A boat can carry a lot of batteries, in contrast to an airplane, and the challenge is to ensure that it charges fast enough to be used in a commercial fishing schedule. This requires rethinking the backbone of the electrical system, in our case for some traditional fishing townships at Senja.
Ongoing Projects or activities