Low hanging fruits

Low hanging fruits

Commentary: The government wants offshore wind to become an adventure, but in the glory of turbines, the government forgets what can happen now.

Shouldn’t Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Storr and the government focus rather on low-hanging fruit in energy policy?
published: published:


That’s a comment. Comments are written by Aftenbladet’s commentators, editors and guest commentators, and express their opinions and analyses.

‘More power, more network, more energy’, so they go saying in government and the Labor Party. This began in earnest when the Energy Commission submitted its report in February More of everything – fasterand has continued ever since.

Also in the premiership Jonas Jar Sture’s speech at the National Meeting of the Labor Party entered “More power, more network and more efficiency”. The answer currently is offshore wind.

On Wednesday, Støre was on a trip to a test center for floating offshore wind turbines outside Haugesund, near offshore areas opened up by the government for floating offshore wind development.

“Just think: in just over 15 years, we will produce as much new renewable energy from offshore wind as combined hydropower today,” Storr told the national meeting.

It sure is exciting to bask in the glow of the big wind turbines. But is this realistic?

sea ​​wind

If the government had listened to its own directorate, the NVE, it also likely would have asked very critical questions of both the Energy Commission and its own thinking about, among other things, offshore wind.

NVE, which for some odd reason was not invited to participate in the committee, was very decisive in its consultative response to, among other things, the government’s ambitions for 30 GW offshore wind by 2030:

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“From the point of view of the need for land, feasibility, economic realism, impacts on the energy system and the need for grids, this is very ambitious.” Very unlikely.

With the largest turbines available today, a capacity of 30 GW would require 2,000 turbines and as much space as a thermos.

There is no overview of the impact all this unregulated energy will have on the Norwegian energy system, how many grid expansions paid for by electricity customers it will require or what significance it will have for existing industries or the environment. or how much support is needed.

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Low hanging fruits

So how about picking low-hanging fruit instead? Those that do may not be as exciting, but they can be profitable, cost less and happen faster.

NVE believes the Energy Commission’s ambition of 5-10 TWh of new solar capacity by 2030 is feasible. This is a new power generation that can be expanded relatively quickly.

For example, Multiconsult filed a report in JanuaryIt was commissioned by Nye Veier, Bane NOR and the Norwegian Public Roads Administration, which dealt with renewable energy development in relation to infrastructure.

Solar cells can be installed in parking lots, in noise screens, in lighting poles, as roofs above or on the ground and in tunnels and in buildings adjacent to roads and railways.

“Infrastructure-linked solar power is a mature solution, but the potential has been little tapped in Norway,” the report states.

The solar industry believes that it is possible to build 8-10 TWh of solar power by 2030, but after that the authorities should facilitate this, remove barriers and put in place a plan.

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Energy saving

NVE believes that the Energy Commission’s goal of achieving at least 20 TWh of energy efficiency by 2030 is also possible.

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Energy efficiency helps reduce the need for energy development and increase network capacity. It will save money for society and consumers, and prevent further development in nature.

Examples include the energy efficiency of buildings and alternatives to electric heating, such as district heating, district heating, bioenergy, heat pumps and waterborne heating.

And increase support for the development of solar energy in their homes, which should be within the reach of ordinary people. With today’s prices and payback period, only those who already have great resources can afford it.

But all this requires goal setting and pursuing it with sufficient means, and this requires an action plan, NVE believes.

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Exemption from net rent for the “wealthy”

the government Poetry We came up with a new sharing system that enables customers in the same property, such as a housing association, to join together since October to produce solar energy. Then they get an exemption from electricity tax and internet rent.

But researchers from NTNU and Sintef wrote in a column in Aftenposten In March, he said the arrangement “at worst could lead to a development where resourceful people invest in solar cells and enter into ‘profitable’ sharing arrangements with their neighbours, which are subsidized by higher grid rent to others”.

This is because the online rent that these customers don’t have to pay has to be covered by other customers. The grid rent, which goes into building and maintaining the power grid, is currently being prepared as a pasting layer.

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“It would be more organized if support came from other agencies, for example Enova,” the researchers write.

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The one billion

National meeting in Ap adopted Energy efficiency is the simplest and most important measure for ensuring energy for socially useful purposes.

Many of the Ap’s decisions to achieve this are good. And, perhaps most importantly, the decision to boost single-use measures through Enova with NOK 1 billion.

But when the government presented its revised national budget a few days later, it did not follow through.

“We are missing out on seeing the equivalent of this billion in the revised budget. If we want to avoid energy deficits, we cannot avoid the contribution of ordinary consumers. These are low-threshold and conflict-free measures. Then the focus on enok must be shifted from the ceremonial speeches of the government to concrete action,” said Tore Strandskog, director of business policy at Nelfothe NHO’s national association that regulates electric companies, Icom and elevators.

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Cherry picking

The government in energy policy seems to deal with what is called research, politics and economics Cherry pickingCherry pickingTranslated into Norwegian, “cherry-picking” is an English expression used in a figurative sense to pick out certain facts that support one’s own opinions, or undermine the opinions of others, while at the same time ignoring other information that contradicts the opinions themselves.. Where you choose what you like, and you choose what you don’t like, to get the result you want.

But if you want to pick the fruits first, you have to pick the low ones first.

And instead of listening instead of coming up with flowery slogans.


The commentator, Hilda Overbeck

Hanisi Anenih

Hanisi Anenih

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