Local Politics Corner | future energy

Local Politics Corner |  future energy

post corresponding Debate Post This is a discussion post, written by an external contributor. The publication expresses the views of the author.

On several occasions I have asked questions about energy and electricity in the municipal council. Bioenergy, solar cells and hydropower are the energy sources of the future. In this debate post, I will give some opinions on this topic.

During Odd Byfuglien’s tenure as mayor in the early 1990s we built the new Etnedalsheimen. Odd, the undersigned, and others were keen that Etnedalsheimen should have a water heating system. Then the alternatives became clear. Oil, electricity or bio-heat. Evolution has been such that oil as a source of heat is out of the question for environmental reasons, among other things, and the electricity used as a source of heat is very expensive and a “waste” of energy.

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Biofuels used in wood chip systems or directly in furnaces have been gradually developed in many municipalities, commercial buildings and private facilities. The price of vital energy will be relatively predictable compared to the spot price of electricity. Bioenergy business in most cases will also be short-term. It would provide welcome jobs in rural areas and would be a good use of woodland that cannot be used for woodsheds. Water-borne heat provides options for different heat sources.

The next point in the topic of electricity is solar cells. With the explosion in electricity prices that we get in 2021, the demand for solar cell installation has increased. Municipalities are now studying the possibilities of renovating existing buildings with solar cells. Energy companies are designing larger facilities such as solar collectors, and yes, construction is also underway. We also see plan cottages and homes getting integrated solar systems.

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We learn that solar systems naturally rely on the sun to produce electricity. A few are produced in November, December, January and February. The same applies at night and on rainy days. It’s exciting if we can get battery packs at a price that means that, for example, electricity produced during the day can be used at night or if electricity can be stored on a medium from summer to winter.

Our third source of energy is hydropower. Hydropower is an excellent source of renewable energy. Water can also be stored in tanks and produce electricity under human control. What needs to be discussed today is whether small power plants can be built at Etna without deteriorating the quality of the watercourse. We are at a time when the need for electric power is increasing, perhaps by tens of terawatt hours. How do we cover this need? Solar cells, wind power, hydroelectric power or nuclear power plants? I don’t want nuclear power plants as I know them.

My conclusion is that we must have more ideas in our minds regarding future energy needs, whether it be for clean heating or electric power production.

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Hanisi Anenih

Hanisi Anenih

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