BERGEN (NETTAVISEN): It’s raining and blowing hard as the energy industry gathers at its annual conference in Bergen in Bergen, which is naturally characterized by several crises: the war in Ukraine and the related energy crisis, sky-high power Norway’s commitment to meet prices and bleak prospects for meeting climate needs, the backdrop. creates.
Ahead of the Nettavisen conference, Fornybar Norge’s leader and former Center Party minister Aslag Haga meets. She pulls up two numbers that don’t fit Norwegian electricity prices or the green transition:
- Investments in electricity distribution fell for the fifth year in a row (source: Statistics Norway).
- New licenses for renewable energy have fallen sharply since 2016. A total of 3,837 GWh licenses were then issued – a similar figure of 20 GWh in 2022 (source: NVE)
- The number of people employed in the industry fell from 15,700 person-years in 2020 to 13,800 in 2021. Estimates for 2022 and 2023 are further downward (Source: Thema Consulting)
– Dramatic measures are required
Haga pulled out the poor print of a map he would provide to the power department Thursday morning:
– Look here: We have reduced CO2 emissions by 4.7 percent since 1990. The government has announced a 55 percent reduction by 2030. Climate goals should guide energy policy. A green transition means dramatically increasing renewable energy production.
Also read: Violent protest: Only two out of 79 Norwegian municipalities favor wind power
The Energy Commission, which submitted its report this winter, concluded that 40 more terawatt hours (tWh) are needed to avoid power shortages. In addition, we will save 20 tWh through reduced consumption.
– Does anyone really believe that achieving those goals is possible, especially when there is such strong opposition to wind power?
– It is very demanding.
But not impossible, says Haga.
Cost: 400 billion
He believes the crisis can be avoided even if we too are headed for power shortages in two or three years.
– Industry can deliver by 2030 if adequate structural conditions are in place.
According to Haga, in that case, the pace of development of renewable energy will have to accelerate greatly, and this will require a completely different investment, especially in offshore wind.
Energitoppen says licensing processing in this sector takes seven to twelve years. This should be reduced in two to three years at the most, Haga believes. The head of Renewable Norway estimates the total bill for this at NOK 400 billion – in electricity and grid development.
But if the license period is shortened and the new taxes help slow down the changes adopted, Haga believes the new taxes will outweigh the absolutely necessary investment in new energy production.
Also Read: No Wind Power Said – No Power In The Business World Now
– Very unwise tax tightening
Because what worries Haga more than the slow licensing process is the lack of investors.
– Because the tax screw has become so tight, it is highly imprudent to structure the tax system in such a way that Norwegian investors who are willing to invest no longer have the ability to invest. This is due to higher interest contribution and increase in basic interest tax on hydropower, says Aslak Haga.
It was introduced by the government from January 1 High cost subsidy for hydropower and wind power generationA rate of 23 percent is set on electricity prices exceeding 70 øre per kWh, designed as a special tax to the treasury.
This increases the tax burden and weakens the ability to invest, says Fornibar Norge Manager.
He fears that the tax changes will lead to bankruptcies and investment freezes in the long run, affecting both local communities, electricity prices and accepted restructuring.
– I’m disappointed to say the least
As Nettavisen previously noted, there is great opposition to wind power in Norwegian municipalities. Haka says attitudes are very positive in many places and more changes are underway, although rapid growth is demanding.
However, he was unimpressed by politicians’ desire to communicate the consequences of committing to energy transition and at the same time favored energy-intensive industry:
– Central politicians have decided that new power requires land and thus encroachment on nature. But the same politicians must now take responsibility for explaining to Norwegians that the country is heading towards an electricity shortage. This has consequences – for the cost of electricity and for the existing industry. I am very put off when many of these politicians talk about hydrogen plants and ammonia plants without taking into account the enormous amount of energy required.
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