News: Klimat related to Chalmers University of TechnologyThu, 01 Apr 2021 15:46:36 +0200 in the shade, despite opportunities<p><b>​The use of solar energy is growing in Sweden. But the photovoltaics panels mounted on Swedish rooftops and in solar parks are almost exclusively imported. New research from Chalmers University of Technology shows how Sweden could have had a domestic industry for production of photovoltaics. The lack of a clear national strategy is one of the reasons why it did not happen.</b></p><div>​A new article in the scientific journal Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews describes the growth of the solar energy industry in Sweden. The authors of the article are the Chalmers’ researchers Johnn Andersson, Hans Hellsmark and Björn Sandén at the Department of Technology Management and Economics, Division of Environmental Systems Analysis.</div> <div> </div> <div>With the expansion of solar energy, a successful installation industry has emerged in Sweden. The installed photovoltaics (PV) products, however, are developed and manufactured abroad, especially in China.</div> <div> </div> <div>“There is no reason why we could not have created a photovoltaics industry in Europe and Sweden as well. Initially, the idea was rather the opposite: ‘we can build a Swedish photovoltaics industry, but we will really not make use of solar energy here’. At the time, it was not thought that solar panels would be effective up here. Instead it was the industrial development that failed, because of the lack of right efforts”, says Professor Björn Sandén.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">No strategic support</h2></div> <div>There are many explanations why this happened. In the article, the authors discuss, among other things, the absence of strategic political support measures.</div> <div> </div> <div>“Political actors did not have a holistic perspective on development and therefore failed to create a cohesive innovation system, which can create conditions for domestic development in all parts of the photovoltaics value chain: from manufacturing to installation”, explains Johnn Andersson, whose doctoral thesis was the basis for a large part of the research.</div> <div> </div> <div>“If we had invested differently, we might have been able to participate in the industrialization process. It is not certain in any way, and it is not easy for a small country to manage something like this. But of course we can industrialize things here – If there is a will. A recent example is battery manufacturing, which is now gaining ground in Sweden as well. But when it comes to photovoltaics, there are few trying to see the whole picture and how to invest in the area strategically”, says Björn Sandén.</div> <div> </div> <div>The state has several important roles to play. It has access to instruments that no other actors have, can set rules for the market, create infrastructure, shape expectations and develop networks. Based on these conditions, it is up to entrepreneurs and other actors to act.</div> <div> </div> <div><em>Is it a lost race, is it too late for Sweden to catch up now?</em></div> <div> “We are still only at the beginning of a development. There are lots of untapped opportunities. Today, solar energy is only a few permille or percent of what it will be in the end, in terms of size. There is still a huge growth in all possible directions. As an example, we point to the thin films that can have special application areas. When you connect it with building materials or applications in vehicles or whatever it may be, many new opportunities will arise”, says Björn Sandén.</div> <div> </div> <div><em>What would be the point of manufacturing in Sweden, then? Apart from obvious benefits for Swedish economy and Swedish jobs, and perhaps shorter transports.</em> </div> <div>“More and more companies are thinking about the entire life cycle and the entire supply chain: What are the ethical and environmental consequences that occur in this chain. As for photovoltaics produced in China, there is a discussion about the use of coal energy to produce them, and what about the working conditions, and so on. When you start to think about the entire production chain and the consequences of it, it can affect where you want to locate the production. This can be an argument for placing it in Sweden, for example.”</div> <div> </div> <div>Björn Sandén believes there is a general benefit to think about climate change and industrial policy in unison:</div> <div> </div> <div>“You can gain a lot from thinking about these two issues at the same time, so you can take advantage of the industrial opportunities that come with the global energy transition. Especially for a country with advanced competencies like Sweden.”</div> <div> </div> <div><img src="/sv/institutioner/tme/nyheter/PublishingImages/solcellsforskarna_750x340.jpg" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /><em>The researchers behind the study: </em><span><em>Johnn Andersson, Hans Hellsmark and Björn Sandén</em><span></span></span><br /> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">The history of the Swedish photovoltaics industry</h2> <div>The development can be divided in different phases. In the 1980s and 1990s, there was an advance of knowledge in thin film technology. It was discussed how this could be exploited in Sweden and attempts were also made to commercialize the technology. The foremost example is the company Solibro. They were bought by a German company, which in turn was taken over by a Chinese company. There was a lack of interest from the Swedish industry, one reason being the absence of earlier similar products.  There were also other tracks with different types of technology that led to smaller companies, but nothing of considerable size.</div> <div> </div> <div>During the 1990s, and detached from the previously mentioned development, a modular assembly industry started to grow in Sweden. Photovoltaic cells were imported, assembled, and then the finished modules were exported. This became a large industry for a while, before it was completely wiped out when prices fell sharply as international competition intensified and large production plants were built in China.</div> <div> </div> <div>As photovoltaics became cheaper and with the help of national subsidy programs the use of solar energy systems started to grow. Today, there is no production of photovoltaics modules left in the country. There are some smaller initiatives, such as university spin-offs and other small businesses in the area. But more than anything, there is a growing installation industry.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><em>Text: Daniel Karlsson</em> <br /></div> <div> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">The scientific article</h3> <div><a href="" target="_blank">&quot;Photovoltaics in Sweden - Success or failure?&quot;</a> by Johnn Andersson, Hans Hellsmark, Björn Sandén</div> <div>Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Volume 143, June 2021, 110894</div> <div> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">How the research was carried out    </h3> <div>The research in the article is based on a socio-technical systems perspective on technological innovation. Description and analysis are based on interviews with various types of stakeholders, a comprehensive review of public support initiatives, scientific publications and news articles, as well as reviews of relevant reports and websites. The research has been funded by the Swedish Energy Agency.</div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div>Tue, 30 Mar 2021 10:00:00 +0200 the EU can reduce tropical deforestation<p><b>​​EU imports of products including palm oil, soybeans, and beef contribute significantly to deforestation in other parts of the world. In a new study, researchers from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, and the University of Louvain, Belgium, evaluated over a thousand policy proposals for how the EU could reduce this impact, to assess which would have the largest potential to reduce deforestation – while also being politically feasible.</b></p><div><span style="background-color:initial">“Unsurprisingly, there is weaker support for tougher regulations, such as import restrictions on certain goods. But our study shows that there is broad support in general, including for certain policies that have real potential to reduce imported deforestation,” says Martin Persson, Associate Professor of Physical Resource Theory at Chalmers University of Technology.​</span></div> <div><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"></span><a href="/en/departments/see/news/Pages/EU-consumption-plays-major-role-in-tropical-deforestation.aspx">Previous research from Chalmers University of Technology has already shown the EU's great impact in this area​</a>. More than half of tropical deforestation is linked to production of food and animal feed, such as palm oil, soybeans, wood products, cocoa and coffee – goods which the EU imports in vast quantities. The question is, what can the EU do to reduce its contribution to deforestation?</div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>“This issue is particularly interesting now, as this year the EU is planning to present legislative proposals for reducing deforestation caused by European consumption. The question has been discussed by the EU since 2008, but now something political is actually happening,” says Simon Bager, a doctoral student at the Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium, and lead author of the study.</div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>The authors of the article mapped 1141 different proposals, originating from open consultations and workshops, where the EU has collected ideas from companies, interest groups and think tanks. The researchers also compiled proposals from a large number of research reports, policy briefs and other publications, where different stakeholders have put forward various policy proposals. After grouping together similar proposals, they arrived at 86 unique suggestions.</div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Two sugg​estions stand out</h2> <div> </div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">Finding proposals for measures that would have the desired effect but are also possible to implement in practice, and enjoy the necessary political support, is no easy task. But after their extensive survey, the researchers identify two policy options in particular which show promise. The first is to make importers of produce responsible for any deforestation in their supply chains, by requiring them to carry out the requisite due diligence.</span><br /></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div> </div> <div>“If the importing companies’ suppliers have products that contribute to deforestation, the company may be held responsible for this. We consider such a system to be credible and possible to implement both politically and practically – there are already examples from France and England where similar systems have been implemented or are in the process thereof,” says Simon Bager.</div> <div> </div> <div>“Due diligence is also the measure which is most common in our survey, put forward by many different types of actors, and there is broad support for this proposal. However, it is important to emphasise that for such a system to have an impact on deforestation, it must be carefully designed, including which companies are affected by the requirements, and which sanctions and liability options exist.”</div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>The other possibility is to support multi-stakeholder forums, where companies, civil society organisations, and politicians come together to agree on possible measures for ridding a supply-chain, commodity, or area, of deforestation. There are positive examples here too, the most notable being the Amazon Soy Moratorium from 2006, when actors including Greenpeace and the World Wide Fund for Nature gathered with soy producers and exporters and agreed to end soy exports from deforested areas in the Amazon rainforest.</div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/SEE/Nyheter/EU-Mercosur-martin-Persson.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" />“Examples suc<span style="background-color:initial">h as these demonstrate the effect that multi-stakeholder forums can have. And in our opinion, it is a measure that is easier to get acceptance for, because it is an opportunity for the affected parties to be directly involved in helping design the measures themselves,” says Martin Persson.</span></div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>Such discussions can also be adapted to the relevant areas or regions, increasing the likelihood of local support for the initiatives.</div> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">A delicate ​​balance</h2> <div> </div> <div>The researchers also investigated how to deal with the trade-off between policy impacts and feasibility. An important part of this is combining different complementary measures. Trade regulations on their own, for example, risk hitting poorer producing countries harder, and should therefore be combined with targeted aid to help introduce more sustainable production methods, increasing yields without having to resort to deforestation. This would also reduce the risk of goods that are produced on deforested land simply being sold in markets other than the EU.</div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>“If the EU now focuses on its contribution to deforestation, the effect may be that what is produced on newly deforested land is sold to other countries, while the EU gets the ‘good’ products. Therefore, our assessment is that the EU should ensure that the measures introduced are combined with those which contribute to an overall transition to sustainable land use in producing countries,” says Simon Bager.</div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>In conclusion, the researchers summarise three essential principles needed for new measures, if the EU is serious about reducing its impact on tropical deforestation.</div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>“First, enact measures that actually are able to bring about change. Second, use a range of measures, combining different tools and instruments to contribute to reduced deforestation. Finally, ensure the direct involvement of supply chain actors within particularly important regions, expanding and broadening the measures over time,” concludes Simon Bager.</div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>The authors hope that the research and identified policy options can serve as inspiration for policy makers, NGOs, industries, and other stakeholders working to address the EU's deforestation footprint. With at least 86 different unique alternatives, there is a wide range of opportunities to focus on the problem – very few of these are political 'non-starters' or proposals which would have no effect on the issue.</div> <div> </div> <div>The full study, Eighty-six EU policy options for reducing imported deforestation is available open-access in the journal One Earth:</div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <div> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">For more information, contact:​</h3> <div> </div> <div>Martin Persson, Associate Professor, Physical Resource Theory at Chalmers University of Technology,, +46 31 772 2148</div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>Simon Bager, Ph.D. candidate UCLouvain and MSCA fellow COUPLED,, +45 2721 7414</div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div><h3 class="chalmersElement-H3"><span>More detailed information regarding how the study was conducted:</span></h3></div> <div> </div> <div>To investigate the potential impact and political feasibility of the 1141 proposals, the researchers first categorised them based on who submitted the proposal, who the policy would affect, and what type of policy is proposed. Since many of the proposals were essentially the same or similar, they were then summarised, resulting in 86 unique suggestions. The majority are based on weaker measures, such as making more information and types of support available to producers, rather than statutory restrictions and regulations on imports and exports. The researchers interpret this as meaning that there is greater support for softer proposals. However, the researchers themselves consider these proposals to be less effective.</div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>“One example is eco-labelling, where the purpose is to influence consumers to stop buying products that contribute to deforestation. The intent is good, but previous research does not support the argument that this changes consumer behaviour to such a level that production itself is affected. But if import restrictions are instead introduced on goods that are linked to deforestation, it is already known that this has direct effects,” says Martin Persson.</div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>After evaluating the likely effects, the next step was to see which proposals could actually receive political support, and how complex and costly the formulation and implementation was likely to be. For this evaluation, methodological innovations were required.</div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>“After categorising the 1141 proposals, we could see how many stakeholders, and of which kind, proposed a certain type of measure. If the same option was proposed by many actors, of different kinds – environmental organisations, companies, and authorities – we interpreted that as strong, broad support for the proposal,” explains Martin Persson.</div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>The last two steps in the assessment of the measures were then about how complicated and expensive it would be to realise the proposals.</div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>“For example, commissioning a research institute to investigate, at a detailed level, what drives deforestation – that would be quite easy. But a new tax or punitive duty at EU-wide level would be very difficult and costly to successfully implement. There are some measures, which the EU can take alone, while others require cooperation with the individual member states or third countries. And there we simply rated the institutional difficulty for implementation of each proposal,” says Simon Bager.</div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>The last aspect for assessing the political feasibility was looking at the economic impact of the proposal.</div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">“If you influence a large impo</span><span style="background-color:initial">rt flow, that will result in major economic consequences. Directing the EU aid </span><span style="background-color:initial">budget to support less forest-intensive production, meanwhile, would have a significantly smaller financial impact. </span><span style="background-color:initial">The consequences for the economy also depend on how much of a market is affected. It is important that a will to change taxation or regulation in the area exists,&quot;</span><span style="background-color:initial"> says Martin Persson.</span></div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div><em>Text: Christian Löwhagen and Joshua Worth. </em></div> <div><em>Images: Jungle: CC 0.0. Portrait: </em><em>Anna Lena Lundqvist / Chalmers</em></div>Mon, 29 Mar 2021 10:00:00 +0200 our water<p><b>​The theme for World Water Day March 22 2021 is Vauling Water, focusing on how we value water from environmental, social, cultural and financial perspectives. But can we out a prize on water or is it invaluable? With an ongoing research project, researchers at Chalmers are trying to learn more.</b></p><div>​Through the <a href="/en/projects/Pages/Risk-based-prioritization-of-water-protection-in-sustainable.aspx">WaterPlan project</a>, researchers from the DRICKS center at the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering are investigating what the need to protect our water resources looks like and how Swedes value this protection. Part of the project means that the researchers will use surveys to investigate and map how people prioritize and what they are actually willing to pay to protect our drinking water sources.         </div> <div> </div> <div>&quot;Today knowledge about how Swedes relate to our common water and how to value it is scarce. We know from studies in other Scandinavian countries that people prefer that the water they drink is naturally clean, that it doesn’t need to be purified afterwards. And that is of course important for how the protection of water resources is designed,&quot; says<a href="/en/staff/Pages/andreas-lindhe.aspx"> Andreas Lindhe,</a> associate professor and researcher at the DRICKS centre, Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering.    </div> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">The great value of water in society    </h2> <div>Our surface and groundwater resources, ie water in lakes and streams as well as the water under the ground, not only provide us with drinking water but offer people so much more. Our water resources are, among other things, sources for energy production, irrigation and recreation – when we go swimming or boating in the summer.        </div> <div> </div> <div>&quot;By protecting our water resources from a drinking water perspective, we can also protect these other values, so-called services, that they provide, but it can also mean restrictions on how we can use these services.&quot;    </div> <div> </div> <div>Therefore, the WaterPlan project also maps and analyzes the various services that water resources provide and the natural conditions on which they depend. The purpose is for researchers to be able to create an overall picture of how we use our water resources and how we thereby value them, as a basis for being able to better prioritize protection measures.      </div> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Pricing that does not reflect fair value     </h2> <div><span style="background-color:initial">DRICKS works closely with Swedish drinking water producers. The industry sees a need to increase water and sewage tariffs in order to be able to maintain and develop drinking water and wastewater management. The Swedish tariff is based on the prime cost principle, which results in a cost that in itself cannot be said to correspond to the actual value of the water and sewage services that we use in society. But what can be the disadvantages of water being underestimated and therefore priced too low?       </span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">&quot;The fact that water in Sweden is inexpensive is not a bad thing since we want water to be available to everyone. But the low price of water means that we become worse at economizing it and tend to take it for granted. For a sane management of water, it is therefore bad that water is inexpensive&quot;</span><span style="background-color:initial">, says Andreas Lindhe.  </span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div> </div> <div>Water is a prerequisite for life and crucial for our society in many ways. Andreas Lindhe believes that expressing risks and evaluating measures of action based on socio-economic consequences does not aim to reduce the importance of water – but on the contrary provides an opportunity to emphasize the importance of water, for instance when balancing competing interests.    </div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>&quot;But we must of course be aware that there are other aspects than the purely socio-economic ones that may need to be considered when important decisions about water are to be made&quot;, Andreas Lindhe concludes.    <br /><br /><em>The </em><a href="" target="_blank"><em>World Water Day</em></a><em> is an initiative from the UN that started in 1993 and which draws attention to the importance of water in society. The purpose is to highlight the challenges we face and what is required for us to, among other things, achieve the sixth global sustainability goal of clean water and sanitation for all.  </em></div> <div> </div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div>Text: Andreas Lindhe &amp; Catharina Björk<br /></div>Mon, 22 Mar 2021 09:00:00 +0100 at the top in Climate Students&#39; ranking<p><b>​For the second year in a row, the organization Climate Students has ranked the climate work at Swedish universities and colleges. Chalmers is number one on the list, followed by the Newman Institute and KTH Royal Institute of Technology.</b></p><div>​The Climate Students have ranked the higher education institutions based on both their actual emissions and emission reductions, and on their ambitions for climate work onwards.</div> <div> </div> <div>&quot;With our ranking, we want to show current and future students which higher education institutions practise what they preach and act on the climate crisis in line with science and the Paris Agreement&quot;, says Matilda Öhman from the Climate Students' Board, in a press release about the results.</div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Scoring in four areas put Chalmers at the top</h2> <div>Interest in the Climate Students' annual ranking has increased. This year, nine more higher education institutions than last year have chosen to participate. In total, the organization has been able to rank 25 universities and colleges, and those who have chosen not to participate are now in the minority.</div> <div> </div> <div>The higher education institutions are scored in four areas. Two of the categories reward the sharpest goals and action plans for emission reductions, and the most accurate measurement of total greenhouse gas emissions. The other two categories reward the lowest emissions from air travel per annual workforce in 2020, and the largest reduction in emissions from air travel per annual workforce between 2019 and 2020.</div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Emissions from air travel have decreased by 97 percent</h2> <div>In this year's ranking, all higher education institutions have received the highest or very high scores in the categories for emissions and emission reductions from aviation. On average, the ranked higher education institutions reduced emissions from aviation by 97 percent between 2019 and 2020.</div> <div> </div> <div>&quot;The pandemic has really shifted the reference point for what is considered possible in terms of reduced emissions from business travel. Now we urge all higher education institutions to take note of what they have learned in 2020 to be able to keep down emissions from business travel in the future as well&quot;, says Matilda Öhman in the press release.</div> <div> </div> <div>Chalmers and KTH, which stand out at the top of the list, took the initiative for the <a href="/en/about-chalmers/chalmers-climate-action/climate-framework/Pages/default.aspx">Climate framework</a> for Swedish universities and colleges in 2019. The framework is the basis for <a href="/en/about-chalmers/chalmers-climate-action/chalmers-climate-strategy/Pages/default.aspx">Chalmers' climate strategy</a>, which was launched in 2020.</div> <div> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">More about the ranking</h3> <div>Read the <a href="" target="_blank">press release</a> (in Swedish) from the <a href="" target="_blank">Climate Students</a> and see the entire <a href="" target="_blank">ranking list</a>. The organization Climate Students was started by students at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Uppsala. In November 2018, students from Uppsala, Gothenburg and Stockholm formed the association Climate Students Sweden.</div>Thu, 18 Mar 2021 16:00:00 +0100 are one thing – values another<p><b>In the climate debate you can often hear the argument that ‘science requires us to cut emissions’. But that argument is problematic,” says Christian Azar, Professor of Energy and Environment at Chalmers University of Technology. In a filmed keynote presentation at the Act Sustainable Research Conference he questions the &quot;science-demands&quot; rhetoric in a discussion about the relationship between science and politics.</b></p><div><strong>Christian Azar, why is it problematic or even wrong to claim that “the science requires” various actions. </strong></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">– Science is essentially a method of finding out what the world is like. But what we should do about the various problems humanity faces is a different matter. Science alone cannot give you the answers to that. To find out what we should do about, for example, environmental degradation, we don’t just need knowledge about the problem but also values, and science cannot tell us what those values should be. In essence we can’t say that science requires us to do this or that. </span><br /></div> <div><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">–</span><span style="background-color:initial"> </span>This difference between facts and values, between what is and what we ought to do, is something we humans have been aware of for centuries. The philosopher David Hume stated already back in the 18th century that we cannot derive an ‘ought’ from an ‘is’. Time after time many people fall back on the idea that science can tell us what we ought to do. It’s a wrong and unfortunate idea. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>But politicians are not experts on the climate, energy technologies, human behaviour, policy instruments and so on, nor can we expect them to be. Shouldn’t the experts decide when the issues are so complex? That’s why we have experts. </strong></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">–</span><span style="background-color:initial"> </span>Yes, but it’s matter of exercising care. What’s needed is some sort of balance. Experts have to determine how to operate an electrical power grid or a nuclear power plant, and I would obviously rather be operated on by a surgeon than a politician. But when it comes to how much money should be invested in healthcare, the environment or schools, we can’t let experts decide that since these are interests that compete with one another, and it’s a matter of what we value most. These issues are quite central to both the climate issue and the pandemic (where a similar discussion about pitting experts and politicians against one another has emerged). How different goals should be valued against one another is ultimately a political question. We can’t get away from that. </div> <div><strong><br /></strong></div> <div><strong>Why is this important?</strong></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">–</span><span style="background-color:initial"> </span><span style="background-color:initial">I think there are two reasons for that. </span><span style="background-color:initial">Firstly, it’s a matter of trust. If researchers say that “the science requires” something when that’s not correct, then there’s a risk that we undermine people's trust in science. I believe that that is something we should be careful about because many powerful actors are already trying to feed that mistrust – for instance politicians like Donald Trump – but for completely different reasons. We should simply be careful not to give them legitimate cause for complaint.</span></div> <div> </div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">–</span><span style="background-color:initial"> </span>Secondly, it’s a matter of democracy. If some experts were to decide what we should do in key issues for our society, then we’d be giving up democracy to some extent. This is particularly important in matters such as the climate issue since this is an issue we’ll need to wrestle with for decades to come – and where some actors – scientists, policy makers and environmental movements alike – argue that people have to change large parts or their entire way of life to solve the climate challenge. However, in order to be able to implement major changes over an extended period, it’s necessary for them to have democratic legitimacy. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><strong>What does this mean for the discussion on <a href="">planetary boundaries​</a> – a key concept in the sustainability debate? They are often presented as boundaries set by science for how much impact we can have on the planet. Researchers such as Johan Rockström, who has been a driving force in the development of these boundaries, say that they are “non-negotiable”. </strong></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">–</span><span style="background-color:initial"> </span>I think that such formulations are very unfortunate. The goals formulated in their articles may be produced by researchers, but they are also subjective and something reasonable people may disagree about. The more of various pollutants we emit the greater the damage to nature, but the precise level of damage we should accept is a matter of values and not something that science can determine as being correct or not. </div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><br /></span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">–</span><span style="background-color:initial"> </span><span style="background-color:initial">The same applies to risks. There’s a great deal of uncertainty in the climate system, for example. Let’s assume that we believe that extremely serious damage would arise if the temperature were to rise by two degrees, but we are not certain. The damage could also arise below or above two degrees. What level should we then aim for? We’d like to have a certain safety margin against really dire consequences. But how great should that margin be? It depends on how much risk we want to take and that has to do with our values. It’s not something science can determine for us. </span></div> <div><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">–</span><span style="background-color:initial"> </span>Finally, I’d also like to stress that I don’t think that there is anything wrong with researchers taking part in the public debate. We researchers are also citizens. I also think it’s reasonable for researchers to be involved and suggest targets for various environmental problems – the issues are so complex that experts are needed in the process and it can’t just be left to politics. So there needs to be an interaction between experts in specific areas and politicians – it’s entirely unavoidable. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">–</span><span style="background-color:initial"> </span>The problem comes when researchers (and others) try to make it appear that their proposals are pure science when they are not. Instead, they should acknowledge that the proposed goals are also based on their values and ethical aspects – and that these values can, of course, also be discussed and questioned. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>In addition to the filmed presentation, you can also read <a href="">Azar’s article about the boundary between politics and science in the newspaper Dagens Nyheter</a> (only available in Swedish though).</div>Wed, 10 Mar 2021 00:00:00 +0100 test bed is being established<p><b>​Chalmers and RISE are now commencing construction of Sweden&#39;s electromobility test centre: Swedish Electric Transport Laboratory (SEEL). Electrification of the transport sector is to be speeded up at SEEL&#39;s three plants in Gothenburg, Nykvarn and Borås.</b></p><div>​Through close collaboration between the twin owners Chalmers and RISE, the Swedish government and the industrial partners CEVT, Scania, Volvo Cars and the Volvo Group, the test centre will be a key resource – open to collaboration with players throughout Europe – in terms of making Sweden a world leader in the field of electromobility. Together, the governmental allocation, the industry partners’ commitments and proprietorial responsibility on the part of RISE and Chalmers will allow an investment of SEK 1.3bn in the test centre. </div> <div> </div> <div>“Sweden has a long tradition of vehicle manufacture, and we are at the same time one of the world's most innovative countries. Through SEEL we are making use of these strengths to electrify the transport sector, reduce emissions and simultaneously increase Sweden's competitiveness and create jobs in Sweden. This will be an important tool with which the Swedish automotive industry can steer global development towards increased sustainability,&quot; says Ibrahim Baylan, Sweden’s Minister for Business, Industry and Innovation.</div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Diversity of test possibilities for electrification</h2> <div>At the test centre’s three plants, industry, institutes and academia will test most of the types of technology and safety consideration required for electrified transport – including innovative new concepts at early stages of development. The test objects comprise a number of different kinds of components for electrical drivelines and energy storage intended for vehicles and ships, as well as systems for propulsion and energy management. Physically this means gearboxes, shaft systems, hubs, electric motors, power electronics, batteries and fuel cells.</div> <img src="/SiteCollectionImages/20210101-20210631/Stefan%20Bengtsson_175x225px.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><br /> <div>The marine sector and aviation will also greatly benefit from the test centre – for testing and as a meeting place and platform for wide-ranging knowledge development in the field of electromobility.</div> <div> </div> <div>“Together with RISE, Chalmers has chosen to assume active proprietorial responsibility for the test bed, so as to facilitate the most efficient support for the Swedish and European automotive industries in their rapid transition to electromobility. The venture simultaneously provides us with excellent opportunities to further consolidate our research and education in the field of electromobility,&quot; says Stefan Bengtsson, President and CEO of Chalmers.</div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">A wide range will be offered at the biggest plant in Gothenburg<br /></h2> <div>The biggest of SEEL's three plants is being constructed in Säve, Gothenburg, involving a planned area of 13,000 square metres. The plant will be able to meet the needs of developers of heavy and light vehicles, trucks and buses, construction equipment, aircraft and ships. Tests will be possible on all types of battery systems, including components from subcontractors. A wide range of testing in the field of electromobility will be offered at Säve. </div> <div> </div> <div>Safety tests will be the focus of the Borås plant, related to charging, short circuits, vibrations, mechanical shock, extreme temperatures and fire risks. In Nykvarn the emphasis of work will be on research and testing in the field of battery technology, and dynamic testing of components for heavy vehicles.</div> <div> </div> <div>“SEEL will increase the Swedish automobile industry’s competitiveness and contribute towards Sweden remaining at the cutting edge with regard to innovation within the transport sector. SEEL is very well placed to become a world-leading test centre for electromobility, and it will assume an important role in the automobile industry's transitional work,&quot; says Pia Sandvik, CEO of RISE.</div> <div> </div> <div>The automotive industry in Sweden has set ambitious targets for its technology transition, and the companies' active involvement is promoting the strategic relevance of the technical testing opportunities currently being established. The test centre will simultaneously act as an open platform that will also welcome researchers, other big industrial companies, SMEs, professionals and students wishing to develop their knowledge. </div> <div> </div> <div>The Swedish Electric Transport Laboratory will be operational by the second quarter of 2023. Procurement of contracts and equipment is currently in progress.</div> <div> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">More about the Swedish Electric Transport Laboratory (SEEL)</h3> <div>The Swedish Electric Transport Laboratory (SEEL) is a test centre for research and development in the field of electromobility, and is owned and run by Chalmers and RISE as a joint venture. The aim is to consolidate efficient knowledge development and improve the conditions for collaboration in the field of electrified transport in Sweden and Europe. Players in the automotive, aerospace and maritime sectors plus other companies developing technology in relevant areas will gain a common platform on which to meet, and will jointly benefit from the knowledge development and technology shift currently taking place. Researchers at colleges of higher education, universities and research institutes will at the same time gain access to advanced research infrastructure in the field of electromobility. The test bed will be operational by 2023.</div> <div> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">More about the test bed as part of a European investment in a value chain for batteries </h3> <div>The SEK 575m state aid from the Swedish Energy Agency for the electromobility lab SEEL is being provided within the parameters of an Important Project of Common European Interest (IPCEI), in order to create a European value chain for batteries. The ten-year project involves 17 participants from seven member states. It includes major European investments in the field of raw and advanced materials for batteries, battery cells &amp; modules and entire battery systems, as well as in the use, recycling and refinement of recycled materials. The investment is being made within the parameters of the <a href="" target="_blank">European Battery Alliance</a>.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Read more: <a href="" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/icgen.gif" alt="" />State aid: The European Commission is approving public aid totalling €3.2 billion from seven member states for a pan-European research &amp; innovation project across the entire value chain for batteries</a></div> <div> </div> <div><strong>Photo:</strong> Anna-Lena Lundqvist<br /></div>Mon, 08 Mar 2021 11:00:00 +0100 prize awarded to energy researcher<p><b>​Filip Johnsson, Professor of Sustainable Energy Systems at Chalmers, is the recipient of the Åforsk Foundation&#39;s prestigious Knowledge Award for 2021. The prize money is SEK 100,000, with candidate prize winners being nominated by the rectors of universities and colleges.​</b></p>​The Åforsk Foundation awards the prize each year to a researcher who has conducted outstanding dissemination of knowledge. The 2021 award goes to Filip Johnsson at the Department Space, Earth and Environment. Filip is one of Sweden's most prominent researchers in the field of sustainable energy systems.​<div><br /></div> <div><div><strong>Congratulations on being awarded this prize! How does it feel?</strong></div> <div>&quot;I was very happy and surprised when I got the phone call that I had received the award. It is of course a great honor, and it reflects the fact that the research group that I have built up together with my talented colleagues produces relevant results&quot;.</div> <div> </div> <div>The motivation for the award states, among other things, that you are very active as a committed disseminator of knowledge outside the academic sphere. This is exemplified, among other things, by the countless interviews that you gave given to newspapers and on radio and television, your strong participation in the public discussion forum, and a number of debate articles that have appeared in the daily press. <em>&quot;Filip does not shy away from the big issues and his multifaceted work is permeated by knowledge as a means of contributing to sustainable societal development.&quot;</em></div> <div> </div> <div><strong>Why is it important to get involved in the public debate?</strong></div> <div>&quot;My research is concerned with studying how the current energy system can be switched to a more sustainable system. In this arena, many exciting things are happening right now, even though there remain great challenges and different views as to what should be done. Hopefully, a commitment to the public debate can contribute to the debate becoming more objective and the avoidance of “non-fact-based” polarization of opinions&quot;, says Filip Johnsson.</div> <div> </div> <div><strong>Here is Åforsk's motivation for the 2021 winners:</strong></div> <div>&quot;Professor Filip Johnsson, who is active at the Department of Space, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Energy Technology at Chalmers University of Technology, is awarded the 2021 Knowledge Prize by the ÅForsk Foundation. Filip Johnsson is one of Sweden's most prominent researchers in the field of sustainable energy systems, and is very active as a committed disseminator of knowledge outside the academic sphere. This is exemplified, among other things, by countless interviews in newspapers, radio and television, participation with great commitment in the public discussion, and a number of debate articles in the daily press. Filip does not shy away from the big issues and his multifaceted work is permeated by knowledge as a means of contributing to sustainable societal development. ”</div> <div> </div> <div>Information about previous prize winners can be found on the foundation's website: <a href="">​</a></div> <div> </div> <div><strong>About the prize</strong></div> <div>Every year since 1995, the Åforsk Foundation has awarded a prize for outstanding contributions to the dissemination of knowledge from universities and colleges. The disseminators of one's own knowledge, as well as messages about the importance of research have previously been awarded prizes. The prize of SEK 100,000 is personal.</div> <div> </div> <div><strong>About</strong> <strong>ÅForsk</strong></div> <div>Since its inception in 1985, ÅForsk has had the purpose of working for research and development as its main areas. The foundation is the largest shareholder in the listed company ÅF Pöyry AB (AFRY). The grants that are distributed come from share dividends from the company. The board consists of members from the founders - King. The Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences, IVA, Skogsindustrierna, Energiföretagen Sverige, and ÅF Pöyry AB (AFRY).</div></div> <div><br /></div> <div>By: Ann-Christine Nordin​</div> <div><br /></div>Fri, 05 Mar 2021 01:00:00 +0100örn Sandén new member of the Climate Policy Council<p><b>​Professor Björn Sandén at Technology Management and Economics, Chalmers, has been appointed a new member of Sweden’s Climate Policy Council from 1 July. The mission of the Council is to evaluate the Swedish government’s overall policies, including the bases and methods on which they are built, as well as promote the debate in society on climate policy.</b></p>​The Climate Policy Council is an independent, interdisciplinary expert body tasked with evaluating how well the Government’s overall policy is aligned with the climate goal of no net greenhouse gas emissions by 2045.<br /><br />In order to strengthen the Council's independence in relation to the government, the Council itself proposes new members. The government then decides to appoint members of the council. On 25 February, the government appointed two new members: Annika Nordlund from Umeå University and Björn Sandén, Professor of innovation and sustainability at the Division of Environmental Systems Analysis at Chalmers. They will join the Council on 1 July 2021.<br /><br /><strong>Congratulations Björn on the new assignment! How does it feel? </strong><br />“It feels good, but also as a large responsibility.” <br /><br /><strong>What made you say yes? </strong><br />“It is an interesting and very important assignment and I have come to the conclusion that I like it when I can combine research and teaching with more direct contributions to society.”<br /><br /><strong>What can you add to the Council? </strong><br />“I hope that I can contribute with useful perspectives on the climate transition based on a broad view of sociotechnical change. At best, my experience of studying industrial change processes from social, natural and systems science perspectives can contribute with both constructive advice and helpful critique.”<br /><br /><strong>What do you consider to be the Council's most important task?</strong><br />“To coach the current and future governments, and the political system in general, to develop policies that help reaching long-term climate goals.” <br /><br /><strong>You succeed Tomas Kåberger, whose appointment expires at the same time. What will you bring into the work from Tomas' previous effort? </strong><br />“In a way, Tomas is irreplaceable with his international outlook and unique experience from various parts of society. But I think that Tomas and I share a positive insight that a rapid transition is both physically possible and economically desirable. Likely, we also share the perspective that technology and industry are critical for a successful outcome.”<br /><br />More about <a href="/en/Staff/Pages/bjorn-sandén.aspx">Björn Sandén</a> <br />More about <a href="" target="_blank">The Climate Policy Council</a> <br /><br /><em>Text compilation: Daniel Karlsson</em>Thu, 25 Feb 2021 12:00:00 +0100 contributes to a sustainable food sector<p><b>​Chalmers University of Technology’s contribution to research and development of new solutions for a more sustainable food sector is growing. Through three national centres − FINEST, PAN Sweden and BLUE FOOD − Chalmers researchers will be involved in developing the food of the future.</b></p><p class="chalmersElement-P">​<span>The Swedish Research Council Formas give 192 million SEK to four national centres for food research and innovation – and Chalmers is participating in three of these. In close collaborations researchers, industry and other actors, will develop new sustainable food systems in Sweden. This means an increase in production of more nutritious food, while the environmental impact decreases.</span></p> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">BLUE FOOD</h2> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">BLUE FOOD, centre for the seafood of the future, will result in completely new Swedish seafood products that could play an important role in the ongoing protein shift. This shift means leaving red meat as the primary source of protein for more sustainable and healthy alternatives. Ingrid Undeland, Professor of Food Science at the Department of Biology and Biological Engineering, will, as the research coordinator, have a central role in BLUE FOOD.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">“I hope that BLUE FOOD will contribute to more of our Swedish blue raw materials being processed nationally <span>−</span> and that this will positively influence new job opportunities, competence level, self-sufficiency and profitability in the Swedish fishing and seafood industry,” she says.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">One goal of the centre is that a larger proportion of the wild fish caught in Sweden will be used as food – another is to expand Swedish aquaculture, i.e. the cultivation of, for example, fish, mussels and algae. Today, as much as 85 percent of the wild Swedish-caught wild fish is not used for food, but for low-value products that are later used in animal feed. This includes both small fish species such as herring, and sprat, but also the parts of the fish that remain after the fillet is removed. These species and cutting details need to be better utilised. But technological development is required to succeed.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">“My research group has extensive experience from processes that can be used to refine both residual raw materials and small fish species. For almost 20 years, we have used complex marine raw materials to isolate functional proteins, i.e. proteins that can provide structure to food at different levels. This knowledge will be used in the doctoral student project that Food and Nutrition Science at Chalmers will supervise in the centre. When it comes to seafood quality, we also have extensive experience, not least on how to avoid oxidation of the unsaturated marine fats, which otherwise leads to the food becoming rancid and losing nutritional value,” says Ingrid Undeland.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">Mehdi Abdollahi and Ann-Sofie Sandberg from the Division of Food and Nutrition Science and Robin Teigland from the Department of Technology Management and Economics (TME) also participate, as artificial intelligence,  AI, and digitalisation in the blue sector are important focus areas in BLUE FOOD. The latter will also form the basis for a PhD-student project in a later stage of the centre.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">FINEST</h2> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">FINEST is a centre for future innovations in a sustainable food system. The centre brings research on sustainability and nutrition, food technology, consumer behaviour, innovation management and system change together. In addition, there is a joint development of methods through the Food Transition Lab run by Rise, and a co-creation platform that will be created within the centre formation.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">The centre wants to contribute to innovation in the Swedish food sector by involving actors from all parts of the value chain – to jointly create the best conditions for innovation, contribute to system change and support concrete projects, including berries as raw materials and experimental value chains.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">Professor Maria Elmquist at TME, on Chalmers' involvement in FINEST:</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">“I will lead a work package together with RISE where we will work with innovation management and study how established players can find new paths to innovation by collaborating in new ways and with new parties. We will recruit a doctoral student with a focus on innovation in the food sector, who will, among other things, work closely with ICA and the Rural Economy and Agricultural Societies (Hushållningssällskapet). The activities in the centre will constitute an exciting research arena and lab environment for us, as we will be able to collaborate and study the participating actors, and easily test new models and tools.”</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">PAN SWEDEN</h2> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">Efforts to limit the environmental impact from animal-based food are needed to meet the goals of Agenda 2030 but innovations within plant-based proteins options are lagging. Evidence-based knowledge within food processing, consumption and health benefits of plant-based proteins is currently scarce, which limits the necessary further development.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">The centre PAN SWEDEN (plant-based proteins for health and wellbeing) will in collaboration with universities, research institutes, the Swedish industry and public sector partners, develop new knowledge and new methods to examine how increased consumption of plant-based proteins affects health and well-being. PAN brings together a unique set of interdisciplinary competence and creates a new infrastructure that integrates research on food, nutrition, technology, medicine and social sciences. </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">Marie Alminger, Professor of Food and Nutrition Science, is part of PAN’s management team and she will participate in the research with focus on characterisation of plant-based proteins. Among other things, the researchers want to clarify the relationship between processing, structure, bioavailability, digestion of proteins, and how the proteins can affect the intestinal flora and health. </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> “We will compare selected plant proteins (model proteins combined with fibre components) with animal foods, in this case chicken. We want to identify raw materials with promising properties that work well in food processes − but also gain knowledge about possibilities and health effects, or risks, that come with increased use of plant-based foods,” she says.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">Anna Ström is Professor at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. She is also part of the management of PAN and is responsible for the focus area &quot;Biomolecular signatures in a precision nutrition perspective&quot;. Here, the researchers will work mainly on how plant-based nutrition is absorbed by the body and investigate the processes for uptake of different vegetable proteins in the digestive systems. As a chemist, Anna Ström contributes with the physical chemical aspects and she is particularly interested in exploring one idea with an exciting focus:</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">“The idea is to develop a sensor that makes it possible to follow how we degrade various plant-based proteins, which could enable us to look directly into the intestinal system. We see a great need for such technical solutions. With the help of AI, the information can be translated into new, important knowledge on the functions of different proteins in our digestive systems,” says Anna Ström.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P">Another research area to be explored is how the combination of different proteins, and high and low fibre levels in the diet affects us from a nutritional and health perspective.</p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><br /></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"><strong>Read the press release from Formas:</strong> <a href="">Multi-million investment in Swedish centres for food research and innovation​</a></p> <p class="chalmersElement-P"> </p>Tue, 22 Dec 2020 08:00:00 +0100 million for research on a sustainable energy system<p><b>​Mistra, the Swedish foundation for strategic environmental research has decided to grant the program proposal Mistra Electric Transition with Energiforsk and Chalmers University of Technology as the main applicant for the call &quot;Energy transitions - a systems perspective&quot;. The program’s vision is to accelerate a fair and competitive transition to a sustainable and efficient energy system.</b></p>​<span style="background-color:initial">Mistra Electric Transition has three primary goals:<br /><br /></span><div><ul><li><span style="text-indent:-18pt;background-color:initial">To describe technically feasible and cost-effective solutions that lead to a fossil-free energy system, with a special focus on electrification and to connect different sectors.</span></li> <li>To analyze how fossil-free technologies and infrastructures can implement at the pace required to achieve Sweden's emissions targets.</li> <li>To show how the energy transition can support a positive socio-economic development. The program is allocated a maximum of SEK 50 million over four years</li></ul> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">“Mistra Electric Transition can make a real difference to accelerate the ongoing positive transformation of the Swedish energy system. We are very happy and proud that Mistra gives us the confidence to implement the program together with a fantastic team. The issues we will work with are at the absolute forefront of the field, and through close collaboration between researchers and companies, we hope that the results will have a direct impact and application”, says Markus Wråke, CEO of Energiforsk, which will be the program host.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"><br /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">“I am very much looking forward to working with the program. Together with the Swedish energy industry and Energiforsk, I believe that we will show the great potential in connecting the energy sector and other industries, and also provide support for how the transition can be carried out in the best way”, says Filip Johnsson, professor of sustainable energy systems at Chalmers, who led the work of drafting the program proposal.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"><br /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">The programme's objectives involve technical, as well as social and economic methods and aspects, to increase the possibilities for an energy system in line with Sweden's climate goal of net zero emissions by 2045. Technical results and conclusions will be balanced together with political and social feasibility.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"><br /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">“In the current call, we received many exciting ideas and high-quality proposals. The program that is now being funded focuses on the possibilities of electrification and the interaction between different sectors. Technically feasible and cost-effective development paths are in focus, as is the connection to social and political opportunities. The program is characterized by an innovative methodological approach and a strong focus on societal benefits, fair adjustment and industrial competitiveness. All these parts will be needed in the transition to a fossil-free welfare society”, says Linda Bell, Mistra's program manager.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b>Special studies in the transport and industrial sectors</b></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">Instead of focusing on electricity, heating, transport and industry separately, the approach is electrification and sector connections. However, Mistra Electric Transition will in particular study the transport and industrial sectors, the connections between them and their relationship to the electricity system, in order to increase the understanding of how each sector can contribute to a change. Case studies with the companies involved and other stakeholders will be an important part of the results' application.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">“There are a number of research initiatives in the energy field and our approach at Mistra has been to address the complexity of the system as a whole, with an environmental strategic and long-term perspective. Our programs work transdisciplinary and intersectoral, leading to innovative approaches and solutions. Now that many regions and countries have set goals and roadmaps to achieve fossil freedom, there is a great demand for research and innovation that contributes with knowledge and concrete solutions along the way”, says Linda Bell.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US"><br /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b>FACTS:<br /> </b><span lang="EN-US">Energiforsk will host the program and the work will be carried out in an interdisciplinary consortium together with Chalmers, IVL Swedish Environmental Institute, University of Exeter, Lund University and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, SLU. <b></b></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span lang="EN-US">Svenska Kraftnät, Stockholm Exergi, Fortum, Nordion Energi, Göteborg Energi, Vattenfall, Hitachi-ABB, Egain and Utilifeed, as well as other stakeholders also participate in the program.</span></p> </div>Mon, 14 Dec 2020 07:00:00 +0100 million to Mistra Carbon Exit for the conversion to net zero emissions<p><b>​​Mistra has decided to allocate funding for a second phase of Mistra Carbon Exit of up to SEK 66 million over the next four years. Program manager Lars Zetterberg is convinced that the program results will contribute to Sweden&#39;s conversion to net zero emissions.</b></p>Following an evaluation by an international panel of experts,  the Mistra board has decided to allocate research funding for the program for a second phase. The panel recommends that the various parts of the program be linked together and that the program work to ensure that content and results have a clearer impact on society. ​<br /><div></div> <div><br /></div> <div>– At a time when the consequences of a changing climate are becoming increasingly clear, Mistra Carbon Exit plays an extremely important role by contributing with scientific knowledge on how the transition to a fossil-free society should take place. It’s very satisfying that the program has been approved in the evaluation and now can proceed in a second phase, says Thomas Nilsson, program manager Mistra. </div> <div><br /></div> <div>Lars Zetterberg, Program Manager for Mistra Carbon Exit:  </div> <div>– We are very happy that Mistra gives us continued confidence and support for Mistra Carbon Exit. We are convinced that our results will contribute to Sweden's conversion to net zero emissions. Our approach to value chains has proven to be effective as it helps us understand obstacles and identify new opportunities. Our close collaboration with companies and authorities is a strong contribution to making research relevant and facilitating its application. It will be very fun to continue working with this group. We feel very honored and will take on the task with great enthusiasm. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial">Mistra Carbon Exit, with IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute as prog</span><span style="background-color:initial">ram host, started April 1, 2017. </span><span style="background-color:initial">The program develops new knowledge and strategies for how Swedish society and Swedish companies can be pioneers in offering products and services with low or no carbon dioxide emissions. The vision is to contribute to making Sweden an important international role model in climate work. </span><span style="background-color:initial"> ​</span><span style="background-color:initial"> </span></div> <div><br /></div> <div>– It will be extremely exciting and stimulating to continue working in this program. The work in the first phase will now be a solid basis for further analysis. We have also created a fantastic collaboration between the researchers and also with various customers for the program, says Filip Johnsson, professor of energy technology at Chalmers University of Technology, and scientific chef, Mistra Carbon Exit.</div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">More about Mistra Carbon Exit</h3> <div><span style="background-color:initial">Mistra has contributed SEK 56 million in the first phase of four years.  The program's consortium also includes Chalmers </span><span style="background-color:initial">University of Technology</span><span style="background-color:initial">, </span><span style="background-color:initial">Gothenburg University, </span><span style="background-color:initial">Linköping University and the Royal Institute of Technology, KTH, as well as the three research institutes Resources for the Future in Washington DC, the German Institute for Economic Research in Berlin and the Center for European Policy Studies in Brussels. A large number of companies, authorities and interest groups also participate.  </span></div> <div><span style="background-color:initial"><a href="">Mistra Carbon Exit website</a>. </span></div>Thu, 10 Dec 2020 00:00:00 +0100 hybrid vehicles have an important role to play for electrification of personal transport<p><b>​Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) are those which can run on both electricity and fossil fuels. So how environmentally friendly are they? And how well can they help prepare for an eventual transition to a fully fossil-free vehicle sector? A unique study from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, now shows that PHEVs are often driven as much on electricity as ‘pure’ electric cars, with a range of about 130 km.</b></p><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/SEE/Profilbilder/Ahmet_Mandev_170.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" /><span style="background-color:initial">“In comparing a large number of multi-car households, we can see that households owning a fossil-fuel vehicle, and a PHEV,  can drive as many purely electric kilometres as a household owning a fossil fuel vehicle and a fully electric one,” says Ahmet Mandev, doctoral student at Chalmers.</span><div><br /><span style="background-color:initial"></span><div>After processing the data of four million driving days of PHEVs, Ahmet Mandev can also say how charging should take place to maximise electric power, while minimising fuel consumption and emissions.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>Despite the fact that over 20 years have passed since the first mass-produced PHEV car appeared on the market, many questions remain regarding optimal usage of such vehicles. These are questions that Ahmet Mandev, a doctoral student at the Department of Space, Earth and Environmental Science at Chalmers, aimed to answer in his doctoral studies, supervised by Associate Professor Frances Sprei.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“The reason why we want to take a closer look at PHEVs is that there are different views on their role in electrifying personal transport. It is vital to learn as much as we can about their electrical potential, so that we can determine which policy instruments – laws, regulations and subsidies – can be most effective for such vehicles,” says Ahmet Mandev.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>In the first of the studies included in his licentiate thesis The Role of Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles in Electrifying Personal Transport - Analysis of Empirical Data from North America, he processed and analysed one year of driving data for 71 households in California.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“It is easy to see the breakdown of the kilometres for which a PHEV uses the electric motor or the internal combustion engine. But the unique thing about this study is that we looked at the household level – we mapped all the vehicles in different multi-car households. Then we saw how many kilometres a household travelled using electric power and compared that between households which own a fully electric car, or a PHEV, alongside a conventional vehicle,” he explains.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>As usual with all types of electric vehicles, range is an important factor. The study shows that households with a fully  electric car and a conventional car, drive on average 45 percent of their total kilometres on electricity, while the households with a PHEV, and a conventional car, reached 46 percent electric operation on average. This is despite the fact that the range for the vehicles at full electric operation was 130 km for the electric car – in the case of this study, the Nissan Leaf – and just under half for the plug-in hybrid - 56 kilometres.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/EoM/Profilbilder/Frances_Sprei_170x220_2.jpg" class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" alt="" style="margin:5px" />&quot;​The reason that the PHEV performs better, despite the considerably shorter range, is that it is taken more often for the longer journeys. So then at least some distance of those trips is driven using electricity. The figures also show that the PHEVs are more often used while another person in the household is using the conventional vehicle. The range for both BEVs and PHEVs have increased since the study, but the results are still relevant and show that plug-in hybrid vehicles have an important role to play when it comes to electrification of personal transport. As the next step it will be interesting to follow up the effect of these longer ranges on electrification rates”, says Frances Sprei.</div> <div><br /></div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Most important to charge overnight</h3> <div>Another issue that Ahmet Mandev investigated was how and when to charge a PHEV to get as many electrically driven kilometres as possible, with the lowest possible fuel consumption and emissions. In two other studies, he used about 4 million driving days of data, collected over a ten-year period from the plug-in hybrid model Chevrolet Volt. By processing the data, Ahmet Mandev calculated how often the vehicles were charged, and can thus empirically prove several points about the PHEVs.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The most positive effects result from charging your car once a day – perhaps not so surprising. But Ahmet Mandev made a further discovery which did stand out.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“If you decrease from charging your car every night, to 90 percent of nights, emissions triple – from 1.7 kg of carbon dioxide to 5.7 kg for 100 kilometres of driving. Fuel consumption increases in a similar way, from 0.7 liters for 100 kilometers to 2.5 liters. These are still low emissions and low levels of fuel consumption, but it is a big difference for such a small change in behaviour,” he explains.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>The PHEVs in the study achieve a high share of 76 percent of kilometers driven on electricity, provided, that they are fully charged once a day. Ahmet Mandev and Frances Sprei point out that supplementary charging during the day also gives positive effects, but for maximum effect, a full charge overnight is the best option.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>“In our studies, we focused on studying data and drawing conclusions about charging and electric operation based on that. But if one were to translate our results into policy suggestions, it would be to give more people the opportunity to recharge vehicles overnight. Currently, many people, for example those who live in apartment buildings, do not have that opportunity,” says Ahmet Mandev.</div> <div><br /></div> <div>In his further doctoral studies, he plans to make international comparisons, to see how charging patterns and electric power differ between countries with different conditions, laws and guidelines regarding PHEVs. Based on this, it will then be possible to see which policy guidelines and recommendations would make the biggest difference. </div> <div><br /></div> <div><em>Text and photos: Christian Löwhagen. </em></div> <div><em>Illustration by </em><a href=""><em>Chaowalit Koetchuea​, the Noun Project</em></a><em>, arranged by Christian Löwhagen. </em></div> <div><br /></div> <div>The research was financed by the Swedish Electromobility centre and carried out in collaboration with UC Davis in California and the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovations Research in Germany. </div> <div><br /></div> </div>Fri, 04 Dec 2020 07:00:00 +0100 want’s to capture and store energy in new material<p><b>​Kasper Moth-Poulsen, Professor at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, has been awarded the Swedish Research Council&#39;s consolidation grant of 12 million for 2020 - 2026. The grant will be used to explore a new material that can both store solar energy and absorb energy from the environment and release it as heat.</b></p><p>​“It feels great, I'm both happy and proud, especially since this is a grant that you can only apply for every other year in very high competition” says <a href="/en/Staff/Pages/kasper-moth-poulsen.aspx">Kasper Moth-Poulsen</a></p> <p>The research that will be funded by the grant is similar to the solar energy system MOST (Molecular Solar Thermal Energy Storage Systems), which Kasper and his group have been working on for many years, and has attracted a great deal of attention around the world. But the new project is about developing the knowledge further and differs in several crucial ways. Now the researchers will work in systems with solid substances instead of in liquids as in MOST, and the material will be able to do several things at once.</p> <p>“We want to investigate whether it is possible to create a new material that can both store the sun's energy and absorb the energy or heat from the surroundings. In short, you might say that the overall purpose is to try to handle heat and, also cooling in a completely new way” says Kasper Moth-Poulsen.</p> <p>The material that the researchers are investigating must be sustainable and contribute to new emission-free solutions in energy storage.<br /></p> <p>In addition to Kasper Moth-Poulsen, Victor Torres Company at the Department of Microtechnology and Nanoscience was also awarded a consolidation grant from the Swedish Research Council.</p> <p><a href="/en/departments/mc2/news/Pages/Prestigious-funding-for-photonic-research-from-The-Swedish-Research-Council.aspx"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Prestigious funding for photonic research from The Swedish Research Council​​</a><br /></p> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">More about Kasper-Moth Poulsen </h2> <div>Kasper Moth-Poulsen is Professor and Head of Division at Applied Chemistry at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering and works with research in the field of nano chemistry and new materials for energy capture and storage and synthetic chemistry. He has received several different grants and awards for his research, such as ERC starting grant, SSF future research leaders grant, Wallenberg Academy Fellow Grant and a scholarship from HM King Carl XVI Gustaf's Foundation for Science, Technology, for his work with the solar energy system MOST.</div> <div> </div> <div><a href="" target="_blank"><img class="ms-asset-icon ms-rtePosition-4" src="/_layouts/images/ichtm.gif" alt="" />Read more about the consolidator grants</a><br />    </div> <div>Text: Jenny Holmstrand</div>Fri, 04 Dec 2020 00:00:00 +0100 electronics efficiently with graphene-enhanced heat pipes<p><b>​Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have found that graphene-based heat pipes can help solve the problems of cooling electronics and power systems used in avionics, data centres, and other power electronics. &quot;Heat pipes are one of the most efficient tools for this because of their high efficiency and unique ability to transfer heat over a large distance,&quot; says Johan Liu, Professor of Electronics Production, at the Department of Microtechnology and Nanoscience – MC2, at Chalmers. The results, which also involved researchers in China and Italy, were recently published in the scientific Open Access journal Nano Select.</b></p><div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MC2/News/jliu_2016_350x305.jpg" alt="Picture of Johan Liu." class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" style="margin:5px" />Electronics and data centres need to be efficiently cooled in order to work properly. Graphene enhanced heat pipes can solve these issues. Currently, heat pipes are usually made of copper, aluminium or their alloys. Due to the relatively high density and limited heat transmission capacity of these materials, heat pipes are facing severe challenges in future power devices and data centres.</div> <div><br /></div> <div><em>(Picture to the right: Prof. Johan Liu)</em><br /> </div> <div> </div> <div>Large data centres that deliver, for example, digital banking services and video streaming websites are extremely energy-intensive, and an environmental culprit that emits more than the aviation industry. Reducing the climate footprint of this industry is therefore vital. The researchers’ discoveries here could make a significant energy efficiency contribution to these data centres, and in other applications too.</div> <div> </div> <div>The graphene-enhanced heat pipe exhibits a specific thermal transfer coefficient which is about 3.5 times better than that of copper-based heat pipe. The new findings pave the way for using graphene enhanced heat pipes in lightweight and large capacity cooling applications, as required in many applications such as avionics, automotive electronics, laptop computers, handsets, data centres as well as space electronics.</div> <div> </div> <div><img src="/SiteCollectionImages/Institutioner/MC2/News/ya_liu_350x305.jpg" alt="Picture of Ya Liu." class="chalmersPosition-FloatRight" style="margin:5px" />The graphene-enhanced heat pipes are made of high thermal conductivity graphene assembled films assisted with carbon fibre wicker enhanced inner surfaces. The researchers tested pipes of 6mm outer diameter and 150mm length. They show great advantages and potential in cooling of a variety of electronics and power systems, especially where low weight and high corrosion resistance are required. </div> <div>&quot;The cold part of the graphene enhance heat pipe can be substituted by a heat sink or a fan to make the cooling even more efficient when applied in a real case,&quot; explains Ya Liu <em>(picture to the right)</em>, PhD Student at the Electronics Materials and Systems Laboratory at Chalmers. </div> <div> </div> <div>The new study is based on a collaboration between researchers from Chalmers University of Technology, Fudan University, Shanghai University, China, SHT Smart High-Tech AB, Sweden and Marche Polytechnic University, Italy. <br /></div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">For further information &gt;&gt;&gt;</h3> <div>Ya Liu, PhD Student, Electronics Materials and Systems Laboratory (EMSL), Department of Microtechnology and Nanoscience – MC2, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden, </div> <div> </div> <div>Johan Liu, Professor, Electronics Materials and Systems Laboratory (EMSL), Department of Microtechnology and Nanoscience – MC2, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden, </div> <div> </div> <div>Illustration: Ya Liu and Johan Liu</div> <div>Photo of Johan Liu: Michael Nystås</div> <div>Photo of Ya Liu: Bo Hu</div> <div><br /></div> <div> </div> <div><strong>Read the full paper in Nano Select &gt;&gt;&gt;</strong></div> <div><a href=""><span><span style="display:inline-block"></span></span></a></div>Thu, 03 Dec 2020 08:00:00 +0100 global built environment sector must think in new, radical ways – and act quickly<p><b>​The construction sector, the real estate industry and city planners must give high priority to the same goal – to drastically reduce their climate impacts. Powerful, combined efforts are absolutely crucial for the potential to achieve the UN&#39;s sustainability goals. And what’s more – everything has to happen very quickly. These are the cornerstones to the roadmap presented at the Beyond 2020 World Conference.</b></p><div>Today, 55 percent of the world's population lives in cities. By 2050, that figure is estimated to have risen to 68 percent, according to the UN. Cities already produce 70 percent of the world's greenhouse gases. Buildings and construction account for 40 percent of energy-related carbon dioxide emissions. Rapid urbanisation is bringing new demands that need to be met in ecologically, economically and socially sustainable ways.  </div> <div> </div> <div>“If we continue as before, we have no chance of even getting close to the climate goals. Now we need to act with new radical thinking and we need to do it fast, and increase the pace at which we work to reduce cities' climate impact. We must look for innovative ways to build our societies so that we move towards the sustainability goals, and not away from them”, says Colin Fudge, Visiting Professor of urban futures and design at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden.  </div> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Roadmap for the built environment sector worldwide </h2> <div> </div> <div>As an outcome of the Beyond 2020 World Conference, Colin Fudge and his colleague Holger Wallbaum have established a &quot;<a href="" target="_blank">Framework for a Transformational Plan for the Built Environment</a>&quot;. The framework aims to lay the foundation for regional strategies that can guide the entire sector in working towards sustainable cities and communities, and the goals of the <a href="" target="_blank">UN Agenda 2030</a>.  </div> <div> </div> <div>“The conference clearly demonstrated the growing awareness of sustainability issues among more and more actors in the sector. But it's not enough. Achieving the sustainability goals will require a common understanding among all actors of how they can be achieved – and, not least, real action. That is what we want to contribute to now”, says Holger Wallbaum, Professor in Sustainable Building at Chalmers University of Technology, and host of <a href="" target="_blank">Beyond 2020</a>.  </div> <div> </div> <div>Chair of Sweden’s Council for sustainable cities, Helena Bjarnegård, is welcoming their initiative.  </div> <div> </div> <div>“We are aware that we have to deliver change to address the climate, biodiversity, lack of resources and segregation. We need to develop sustainable living environments, not least for the sake of human health. The framework of a transformational plan for the built environment provides a provocative but necessary suggestion on concrete actions to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals for one of the most important sectors”, says Helena Bjarnegård, National architect of Sweden.  </div> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">72 measures proposed for northwestern Europe </h2> <div> </div> <div>In the framework, Wallbaum and Fudge have added a detailed action plan for northwestern Europe that contains 72 concrete proposals for measures – intended as an inspiration for the rest of the world.  The proposals cover everything from energy efficiency improvements, research into new building materials, digital tools and renovation methods, to free public transport, more green spaces and cycle paths. They involve all actors from the entire sector – such as architects, builders, real estate companies, material producers and urban planners. Several of the high-priority measures in northwestern Europe are under direct governmental responsibility:  </div> <ul><li>Higher taxes on carbon dioxide emissions and utilisation of land and natural resources – lower taxes on labour </li> <li>State support for energy-efficient renovation works </li> <li>A plan for large-scale production of sustainable, affordable housing </li> <li>Increased pace in the phasing out of fossil fuels in favour of electric power from renewables </li></ul> <div> </div> <div>“Here, governments, in collaboration with towns, cities and other sectors, have a key role, as it is political decisions such as taxation, targeted support and national strategies that can pave the way for the radical changes we propose. But all actors with influence over the built environment must contribute to change. In other parts of the world, it may be the business community that plays the corresponding main role”, says Holger Wallbaum.  </div> <div> </div> <h2 class="chalmersElement-H2">Measures must be adapted by region </h2> <div> </div> <div>Wallbaum and Fudge are clear that their proposed measures are specifically intended for the countries of northwestern Europe, and that their work should be seen as an invitation to discussion. Different actors around the world are best placed to propose which measures are most urgent and relevant in their respective regions, based on local conditions, they claim.  </div> <div> </div> <div>“Key people and institutions in different parts of the world have accepted the challenge of establishing nodes for the development of regional strategies. From Chalmers' side, we have offered to support global coordination. Our proposal is that all these nodes present their progress for evaluation and further development at a world conference every three years – next in Montreal, in 2023”, says Colin Fudge.  </div> <div> </div> <div>A thousand participants followed the Beyond 2020 conference, which was arranged by Chalmers 2-4 November in collaboration with Johanneberg Science Park, Rise (Research Institutes of Sweden), and the City of Gothenburg. As a result of the Corona pandemic, it was held online. The conference discussed methods for reducing climate footprints, lowering resource consumption, digital development and innovative transport. Among the speakers were authorities in sustainable construction, digitisation and financing from around the world.  </div> <div> </div> <div><em><a href="">Beyond 2020</a> has the status of a World Sustainable Built Environment Conference (WSBE). Organisers are appointed by iiSBE, a worldwide non-profit organisation whose overall goal is to actively work for initiatives that can contribute to a more sustainable built environment. The next WSBE will be held in Montreal in 2023.</em>    </div> <div> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">More about: A roadmap for the built environment </h3> <div>In their newly established framework, Wallbaum and Fudge establish a general approach that each individual region in the world can use to identify the measures that are most urgent and relevant to achieving the goals of the UN Agenda 2030, based on local conditions. They identify the key questions that must be answered by all societal actors, the obstacles that need to be overcome and the opportunities that will be crucial for the sector over the next decade.  The work has been carried out in dialogue with prominent researchers and city planners around the world. </div> <div> </div> <div>Read more about the framework and download the material here: <a href="" target="_blank">Framework document on a Transformational Plan for the Built Environment  </a></div> <div> </div> <div><h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">More about: Action plan for the built environment sector in northwestern Europe </h3> <div>Wallbaum and Fudge have specified 72 acute sustainability measures in northwestern Europe (Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Norway, Belgium, Switzerland). </div> <div>A selection:  </div> <ul><li>Establish renovation plans which focus on energy efficiencies for all existing property by 2023. </li> <li>Avoid demolition and new construction when it is possible to renovate. Halve emissions from production of building materials by 2025. </li> <li>The transition to greater usage of materials with lower climate impact needs to accelerate. </li> <li>Accelerate the phase out of fossil fuels in the transport sector in favour of electric power – with, for example, a ban on new petrol and diesel cars by 2030. </li> <li>Double the amount of pedestrian and cycle paths in cities by 2030. </li> <li>Offer free municipal public transport for all school children and for everyone over the age of 70. </li> <li>Introduce the climate perspective as a mandatory element of the architectural industry's ethical guidelines. Increase the proportion of green spaces by 20 percent in all cities by 2030. </li> <li>Concentrate research on the development of new building materials with lower carbon footprints, digital tools for the built environment and new energy-efficient renovation methods. </li></ul></div> <div> </div> <div><br />Read the entire action plan on the pages 20-23 in the <a href="">Framework document on a Transformational Plan for the Built Environment </a><br /></div> <div><div> </div> <h3 class="chalmersElement-H3">Contact: </h3> <div>Holger Wallbaum</div> <div><a href=""></a>  Ph. +46 31 772 19 94 </div></div> <div> </div>Sun, 15 Nov 2020 21:00:00 +0100