Norway’s ‘Snow for the Future’ initiative attracts strong interest

As the world tries to make progress to limit climate change, researchers are finding ways to adapt to warmer winter temperatures - by developing environmentally friendly ways of producing artificial snow.

A team of Norwegian researchers has been awarded a NOK 2.3 million grant from the Norwegian Ministry of Culture to develop a new approach to snowmaking - one that would allow snow to be made in an energy-efficient way, even at warmer temperatures. The project was named “Snow for the Future”.

The initiative was launched in January 2017 by the Norwegian Ski Federation and Trondheim municipality, together with researchers from SINTEF, one of Europe’s largest independent research organisations, and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.

On 10th November 2017, all parties came together to plan the second phase of the project with the main objective to get as many industrial partners involved as possible.

“Developing good partnerships between the industry and researchers will be tremendously important. I am confident that we will achieve some good results, but working together will be key. Not many Norwegian Ski Federation projects have attracted as much interest as this – both nationally and internationally’”, said Erik Røste, President of the Norwegian Ski Federation.

The Norwegian researchers believe that heat pumps could be key to producing snow, even at higher temperatures with heat taken out of air that can be used to warm buildings in a ski resort, and the cold air that is produced can be used outside to make artificial snow.

Italian (Demaclenko) and Norwegian (Frio Nordica) snowmakers are involved in the research and shared their expertise at the recent workshop.

FIS was represented by its Environment Consultant Jascha Schmid who commented: “The project is off to an impressive start and there is great commitment from all parties. It will be extremely interesting to see first results.”