The Yale Center for Business and the Environment, along with the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, welcomes Helle Gronli as a newly hired associate research scientist. In this position, Gronli will lead the Feasibility of Renewable Thermal Technologies in Connecticut project, which studies the potential of renewable thermal technology to help the state achieve its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 80 percent below 2001 levels by 2050.
Before starting at Yale this September, Gronli worked at Enova, a Norwegian company that provides investment support to energy efficiency and renewable projects across the country. While there, Gronli managed a team that both tracked the progress of existing thermal projects and designed support for new projects; her experience also spanned a full range of scales—from the installation of individual residential heat-pumps to the development of large-scale district heating infrastructure.
Originally from Norway herself, Gronli hails from the small village of Rena, not far from the country’s eastern border and settled along its longest river. Rena is also the starting line for one of the world’s largest cross-country ski races, the Birkebeinerrennet, which traverses more than 25 miles west to eventually finish in Lillehammer, host of the 1994 Winter Olympics. Gronli has completed the race twice.
Her husband’s new position as the Director at the Center for Industrial Ecology motivated their move to New Haven, and, along with two children, the family of four is settling in. “We’re starting to build up our identity,” said Gronli, which mostly entails the simple things, like getting a bank account and a Connecticut driver’s license. But there are cultural changes too, of course. What New Haven lacks in cross country skiing, it hopefully makes up for in pizza.
We invite you to say hello to Gronli in her office on the first floor of Kroon.