October 3, 2022

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debate, leader |  stop the electricity

debate, leader | stop the electricity

boss This is a commander. The editor expresses the position of the newspaper.

Let’s take a few reasons for More Electrification of the North Sea First: Norway may not stand a chance of achieving its climate goals without electrifying the continental shelf. It is clearly a political, symbolic and possibly moral problem. More than a quarter of Norway’s carbon dioxide emissions come from oil and gas extraction. Climate goals are important to achieving them, and we can’t just buy ourselves. real problem.

The argument that it is no different whether the gas is flared in the North Sea or in Europe is not entirely correct either. Many gas turbines on platforms have efficiency as low as 20 percent; The energy in the gas is not used as it should. If the gas is instead used in industry or in efficient gas-powered power plants within the EU quota system, it will have a climate impact.

But then there are all reasons against. The large Norwegian power surplus that was talked about a few years ago is disappearing. Everything else must also be electrified, we want to build a more energy-intensive industry, large-scale development of wind energy on Earth has stalled because people and municipalities do not now accept the encroachments on nature caused by such facilities.

Europe is crying out for energy, gas supplier Russia is undesirable, and Norway’s modifiable hydropower is the gold standard for flexible and sustainable energy – although we also shouldn’t forget the nature that was sacrificed for this.

Then it becomes pointless to spend several billion on sending 10-15 TWh of electricity off the shelf where the energy goes off. Some of the billions could instead be used to improve on-platform gas power plants. Also remember that part of the electricity is lost during transportation.

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Wild and unpredictable energy prices Electricity and gas have been put at the top of the agenda in Norway and Europe. The extreme position has shown that market pricing of the necessities of life and shared resources like electricity does not work well, neither for citizens nor for businesses. The European Union is addressing this now, and how confident people are that changes will happen quickly and correctly will likely vary.

For us, it is also unacceptable to resell the jointly owned values ​​to us for 100 times the price it costs to turn water into electricity – even though much of the extra income goes back to the community. Compensation plans can fix some of that for families, but good business solutions are hard to find. Anyway, these are short term solutions. The problem should be fixed in the long run.

Then we have to save more electricity, We don’t send a tenth of what we spend on oil and gas rigs, get good structural changes in the market – and produce more energy. Offshore wind power could be part of the solution, as well as for electricity in the future. Here, greater investment must be made in technology, and in investigations into the negative consequences of such a development at sea and along the coast.

At the same time, there must be a broad focus. For example, solar energy has more potential than we thought here – and it can be expanded now, and exciting developments in nuclear fusion offer hope for the future.

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Norway is very dependent of hydroelectric power controlled by the weather. If we end up in an energy saving situation, or if several dry years emptied water tanks so that the power plants remain stationary, it would be very dangerous for us and Europe if large parts of our gas and oil production also depended on hydropower and ceased. This is unlikely, but it is unimaginable.

In this context it is also It is interesting to remember the gas power plant at Kårstø, which is one of the most environmentally friendly power plants in the world with an efficiency close to 60 percent. It opened in 2007, but was demolished after ten years after long periods without operation – due to extremely low energy prices. In an application to demolish the power plant over NOK 2 billion, it was estimated that the energy price would be 26-40 øre per kWh in 2020-2030, while it would eventually cost 37-49 øre/kWh to produce electricity from the power plant.

Now the price is still 20 times higher than this – but the price of gas is also high, so profitability would still have been difficult. But it would have produced 3.5 TWh – just under a third of what is needed for Equinor’s electricity plan. Energy production has a lot to do with timing. The gas power plant failed. Let’s not miss the electricity.

(Equinor wants to shut down the gas power plant in Mongstad because it is too unprofitable, but Statnett has asked them to wait due to security of supply.)

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