On 17-18 October, the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE) arranged the event Norway Energy Days 2019.
>At the same time as NVE director Kjetil Lund held his opening speech at Fornebu, it became known that the government would not carry out the proposal for a national framework for wind power on land. The theme which everybody should talk about was quickly pushed aside by a “push notification” from the NRK about the Prime Minister’s announcement.
Did a collected power industry have anything else to talk about besides the controversial NVE proposal? We have picked three learning points from the Norway Energy Days, that we think will help characterise the development of wind power on land in Norway.
Dag Terje Klarp Solvang from the Norwegian Trekking Association (DNT) was invited to the NVE conference. In front of a packed audience, he announced that the DNT is not opposed to wind power on land. “Don't lump us with those who just say no-no-no”, Mr. Solvang said.
At the same time, the DNT wants a more thorough review of where we should build wind power on land in Norway. The Secretary General is of the opinion that we cannot solve the climate crisis at the expense of Norwegian nature. Yet, he realises that all energy development requires encroachment on nature.
Kjell-Børge Freiberg, the Petroleum and Energy Secretary, opened by saying farewell to a close friend – Veslemannen – a mountain top that had just fallen. He drew parallels to the energy business, which is also experiencing fast changes and unexpected events.
The Secretary also took the opportunity to address the wind power developers. For them he wanted to shift the focus to the positive contributions wind power on land is making in Norway: “Wind power on land is our cheapest source of new emission-free energy”, Mr. Freiberg said. He referred to industry, which wants agreements for the purchase of electricity from wind power. In addition, wind power on land may contribute new jobs and new business development, Mr. Freiberg continued.
Ellen Hambro, the Director of the Norwegian Environment Agency, reminded us that half the energy consumption in Norway still is of the fossil kind. She referred to the transport sector, the petroleum sector and parts of industry which are still dependent on the consumption of fossil energy. At the same time, we have to secure new value creation and jobs: “There is no reason to doubt that Norway will need more renewable energy if we are to succeed in maintaining prosperity in Norway, and at the same time become a low emission society”, Ms. Hambro said.
Ms. Hambro had a clear message to those who think renewable power from Norway does not result in real climate cuts in Europe: “Renewable power in Norway may help cut emissions elsewhere in the world when we export our clean energy”, she said. The Director also referred to the mechanisms in the EU system that ensure that the quota system does not prevent the import of renewable power, which will contribute to reducing emissions in Europe.
The Paris Agreement and ISBS, the UN climate panel, have demanded a faster pace in the transition to a low emission society. Norsk Vind AS wishes to be part of the solution and the change of pace towards zero emissions, and are seeking more competent employees.
This was written by Kristoffer Rypdal in a contribution to the debate in the VG newspaper on 24 October. Dr. Rypdal is a professor with the UiT – Norway's Arctic University and of the opinion that Hogne Hongset presented erroneous, flimsy and unserious claims in his article in VG two days earlier.