Students from AAU Win Major French Energy Competition · 31. March 2011
A victory ceremony in Paris and inspiration on a tour of Laos. That’s the reward for 24-year-old Kim Clausen and three fellow students from Aalborg University’s Master’s program in Sustainable Energy Planning and Management after defeating 328 teams competing in a major French energy contest for university students and newly graduated engineers.
The competition, Energy Task Force, was sponsored by the major French energy company Electricité de France (EDF) and ran over three weeks. In that time, participants had to imagine that they had landed on a volcanic island, where they had to solve a number of tasks related to energy supply.
- Each week we had five different missions. An example would be to calculate whether it would pay in a given situation to invest in a hydroelectric power plant rather than continue with fossil fuels. The tasks in the competition were very similar to what we work with in our study program, so that was a big advantage for us, says a triumphant Kim Clausen.
His three teammates in the competition, Félix Maire, Maxence Quatrehomme and Alexandre Canet, as the names suggest, are all French AAU students, and there is a natural explanation for this. The program in Sustainable Energy Planning and Management attracts more international than Danish students. According to Kim Clausen, Denmark's good reputation in wind energy is the reason he’s surrounded by French-speaking students.
- In relation to renewable energy, Denmark is a very attractive country for international students to study in. They themselves say that wind energy is a draw and that Denmark is interesting because we seem to be good at getting renewable energy into systems – although I think it has gone much too slowly the last 7 or 8 years, says Kim Clausen.
Conversely, working with the French students and participating in the competition gave him some very un-Danish experiences with nuclear power.
- Nuclear power until now has made up a lot of the French energy supply and one of the missions was to gain an understanding of a nuclear power plant and calculate something about radiation. It was interesting because it’s not something we talk very much about in our program or in Denmark generally, says Kim Clausen.
The four AAU students will be presented as winners of the competition at an event in Paris on April 7-8. First prize is a tour of Laos, including a visit to one of the world's largest hydroelectric power plants on the Nam Theun River.
- Kim Clausen, mobile (+45) 3172 5525
- Science journalist Carsten Nielsen, mobile (+45) 2340 6554, email@example.com