There will be increasing demand for environmentally friendly power in the years ahead. The signals are numerous and strong, and reflect the increased awareness of climate issues.
Norsk Industri, a Norwegian industry association, estimates that its members will need 20TWh more power annually than they are using at present.
In 2016, Hydro Aluminium signed a new agreement with the wind power plant at Fosen for 1TWh annually for a period of 20 years. This is new power that the company claims it needs for increased aluminium production.
Concurrently with industry reporting increased demand for considerably more electric power, Norway has to phase out usage of more than 175TWh of fossil energy, if we are to reach the climate targets in the period towards 2030. (ref SSB table 1). This usage of fossil energy will also have to be replaced by renewable alternatives, including wind power.
Strengthened market for export of renewable energy
At some point in time, our eastern neighbour Sweden will have phased out all its nuclear energy. This corresponds to close to 50TWh, which has to be replaced by new, renewable energy.
Our eastern neighbour, the UK, has adopted and already implemented the phasing out of more than 100TWh of coal based electric power production. This will also gradually have to be replaced by wind power, hydro power and, during a transition period, gas and nuclear power. The renewable share of the UK electric power mix is only 15%, and this is supposed to be raised to 100% by 2050.
We are connected by cable to our neighbours, both Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands. A new cable from Kvildal in Rogaland to the UK, and one from Tonstad to our main export destination, Germany, are under construction. Thus, everything is in place for increased export of renewable hydro and wind power to these countries, when we have surplus power.
In other words, despite also having to facilitate massive energy efficiency improvements towards 2030, there will be demand for significantly more electric power from wind and water in the years to come, if we shall reach the targets of the Paris Agreement, Norway’s own targets and the 1.5-degree target.