Karlstad University is a part of centre of excellence for sustainable energy systems2022-02-15
Solar Electricity Research Centre Sweden, SOLVE, is the Swedish Energy Agency’s effort to contribute to solar power having a wider impact in Sweden. Karlstad University is part of the centre, together with Dalarna University, Mälardalen University, the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, RISE and Uppsala University.
- The fact that Karlstad University is a part of the solar electricity centre of excellence affirms that we play an important role in the solar energy research, both in Sweden and internationally, says Markus Rinio, Professor of Physics. Collaborating with five academic partners and approximately fifty partners from industry and the public sector in Sweden, is very interesting and creates new synergies. A number of companies in Värmland will be participating actively in the centre’s activities. One important partner is Glava Energy Center, which we have collaborated with for several years. In addition, Region Värmland contributes with funding, which further strengthens this effort. The efforts made by companies and the public sector are now tripled thanks to the contributions of the universities and the funding from the Swedish Energy Agency. Our aim is to promote a fast-growing industry which lays the foundation for a sustainable energy system in Sweden.
SOLVE’s overarching goal is to contribute to a sustainable expansion of solar cells in Sweden. The project is divided up into thematic areas such as: new solar power technology, building integration, improved solar cell systems, land use, economics and business models for solar cells as well as the planning of large-scale expansions of solar cells. The centre is built around a graduate school with several doctoral students with different specialisations and expertise. Collaboration, between both universities, institutions and companies as well with the public sector, is central to SOLVE’s activities.
New graduate school focused on solar power
SOLVE will work broadly with research in order for solar electricity to have a bigger impact in Sweden. We will also disseminate information and educate students and doctoral students in order to create both broad and in-depth knowledge of solar cell technology and systems at all levels.
In the near future, a number of doctoral students will be admitted to the graduate school, together with the colleagues at Dalarna University, Uppsala University, Mälardalen University, the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and RISE.
- Well-educated researchers play an important role in the future development of innovations within solar electricity. The centre will attract more students to study this field and to move on to doctoral studies, says Markus Rinio.
Reaching a wider impact for solar power
The number of solar cell systems are increasing all over the world. Sweden has been behind with the amount of installations but now things are starting to happen here as well. This is why it is vital to formulate important research questions and work on them to drive the development forward.
Examples of such research questions are what type of land is most appropriate for installing solar cells. How do we identify these areas and make it easier to apply for building permits? Should valuable agricultural land be used to install solar cells? If so, would it be possible to still use the agricultural land for food production at the same time? What is the next technological breakthrough for solar cell technology?
Competency centre for sustainable energy systems
SOLVE is a part of the Swedish Energy Agency’s effort of creating a centre of excellence for sustainable energy systems between 2022 and2026. Funding of the centre is divided up between the academy, the industry and the public sector, and the allocated budget is approximately 130 million Swedish kronor.