May 19, 2022

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Discussion, Reader Message |  Alcoa needs wind energy

Discussion, Reader Message | Alcoa needs wind energy


Reader message This is a discussion post, written by an outside contributor. The publication expresses the author’s positions.

On November 23 we read a post from Magne Løkås in Helgelendingen titled «The Price of Prosperity – From Rusja to Ovgelet». The post is so relevant and relevant that it deserves all the attention it can get. Especially from us at Alcoa Mosjøen.

Løkås describes in a good way how our (Northern) Norwegian industrial history is based on the development of hydropower. Hydropower development has given us renewable energy and, for the most part, a lower price for electricity, even after the introduction of the free energy market in the early 1990s. This community development wasn’t free – as Løkås writes, blocking streams is a massive encroachment on nature.

We are progressing by leaps and bounds in a new community development. In short, this means removing as many emissions as possible. We can call it climate change. Alcoa considers this a mandatory mission and wholeheartedly supports climate change. Like any other community development, it is not without flaws. One such drawback is that it requires much more power than it is today, even with its broad energy efficiency. The big question for Alcoa Mosjøen, the largest exporter and consumer of electricity in northern Norway, is whether hydropower can meet the growing needs alone. We doubt it. If we want to continue to have relatively low electricity prices, we must continue to have energy surpluses and then need more sources of supply.

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At this point it is appropriate to refer to another reader’s post on Helgelendingen, dated November 24 and written by Tor Evensen in response to Løkås .’s post. Evensen begins his position with the hope that he will pave the way for a good future for the energy-intensive Norwegian industry and Alcoa Mosjøen. We find it very gratifying that both Løkås and Evensen, like Alcoa Mosjøen, hope that The Station will remain competitive.

However, Løkås and Evensen disagree about the role of wind energy in our future emissions-free society and as a contributor to a competitive industry. We agree with Løkås. Our competitiveness cannot be guaranteed without wind power. Alcoa Mosjøen can refer to her own experiences here. Alcoa, as Evensen mentioned in his post, has three wind power agreements with Kvitfjell/Raudfjell, Guleslettene and Øyfjellet, respectively. These agreements were reached after careful preparation. They were chosen because they were by far the most competitive alternatives to us. The global aluminum market is tough, so these agreements are very valuable.

For Alcoa and all other energy consumers, ground wind energy has an additional beneficial effect: it reduces the price of electricity. Had wind power not been built in northern Norway, Alcoa Mosjøen and all the other northern Norwegian industrial companies would have emptied their reservoirs a lot more than we do when wind power is present. Blank magazines meant higher electricity prices, both in northern Norway and elsewhere in the country. In addition, wind power reduces the impact of the price we get from foreign cables.

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Wind energy resistance is completely legitimate by all means. But the belief that the industry’s competitiveness is still strong without more terrestrial wind energy seems to us completely unrealistic.

Ole Løfsnæs, Alcoa . Energy Director