- A new renewable energy industrial fairy tale in Norway

The development of wind power projects provides hundreds of jobs locally, regionally and nationally in Norway. It is also the key to an expansion of energy-intensive industry with a great number of jobs. This was demonstrated in a recent analysis prepared for NORWEA, an industry organisation. The analysis shows that favorable wind conditions in interaction with regulated hydro power, and a strong decline in the cost of wind turbines, makes it very attractive to invest in Norwegian wind power projects. According to the analysis, no country benefits more than Norway. It is only Danish wind power projects that are even close to measuring up to the profitability of Norwegian wind power.

“The wind power projects in Norway are often realised with the use of long-term power delivery agreements with industry, which ensures employment and high value creation in Norwegian power-intensive industry. Furthermore, profitable wind power contributes to a cost effective implementation of the European climate objectives in the medium term.”

- Wind and hydro power is a perfect combination, and means that we may produce power from our reservoirs in periods with little wind. Correspondingly, we may retain water in the reservoirs when it’s very windy, says Per Ove Skorpen.

Furthermore, considering we have the best wind conditions in Europe, it provides Norway with the opportunity to experience a new industrial fairy tale with profitable wind power. And of course, it also represents a solution to the climate problems, says Mr. Skorpen.

The favourable competitive position of Norwegian wind power, means that new wind power projects have great extended effects, both locally, regionally and nationally.

Great extended effects locally

According to the report from Thema Consulting Group, an average wind power plant provides approximately 2 full-time jobs per MW of production capacity. An imaginary 330 MW wind power plant provides 367 full-time jobs locally, 198 full-time jobs regionally and 166 full-time jobs nationally.

Additionally, the report shows that the production of Norwegian wind power will result in a significant decline in the price of power. Wind power projects that have currently been approved to develop will alone contribute to reducing the price of power by NOK 0.05/kWh in 2030. If wind power contributes a power production of 32 TWh in 2030, which the authors of the report considers a likely scenario, it will reduce the price of power by NOK 0.11 to 0.13

Good prospects for power-intensive industry

Long-term availability of renewable power at competitive prices is decisive for the further development of power-intensive industry, such as aluminium production. The report points to a trend whereby an increasing number of foreign investors, with relatively low required rates of return, are investing in Norwegian wind power projects. They hedge the cash flow by entering long-term power agreements with Norwegian industrial companies.

New players result in more market competition for power contracts, and better access to long-term renewable power. This improves the prospects for more industrial jobs. The report estimates that employment will increase by 480 full-time jobs for each TWh of power used for industrial production. At the same time, value creation will increase by NOK 730 million.

- Norwegian wind power is a Kinder egg. Wind power contributes to higher value creation and increased employment, in addition to more renewable energy to replace fossil power production in Europe. That is exactly what Norway now needs, says Mr. Skorpen.

In the wind power debate, some have claimed that there is a clash of interests between land based wind and offshore wind.  We are in favour of both, but it will still take many years before offshore wind power will be commercially viable.

NHO President Arvid Moss has been engaged in this debate, and told Teknisk Ukeblad on June 4:

– Norway has the same wind quality on land as others have offshore. In that case, it is a lot cheaper to build on land than out in the ocean. It is difficult to remove that cost difference, even with time. As an industry, we are not prepared to wait 10–20 years for the costs to come down. We compete in the market every day. That is why we want to enter land-wind contracts and develop land-wind at a balanced pace, says Mr. Moss.

The report was prepared by Thema Consulting Group on behalf of NORWEA. NORWEA is a lobby and industry organisation that is working to promote Norwegian renewable energy production.

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