Discussion: Odd Handegård is seriously wrong in his claims in the post ‘Norway wind power has no advantages’. Wind power makes up nearly 10 percent of Norway’s annual electricity production and is a much needed part of the country’s energy supply.
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If we exclude wind energy, we will face energy shortages and high electricity prices in the long term. Handegård’s claims have been refuted by specialists. An international team of researchers from 13 universities has reviewed hundreds of studies on renewable energy systems. The article has been published in the IEEE Access journal and featured on forcing
The study is subject to criticisms raised against new energy sources, including wind. This applies that switching costs are too high, that it is not profitable and that the systems are not reliable. These are also things that Handegård touches on in his publication. The researchers’ conclusion is that technical solutions exist and conversion is profitable. Renewable sources such as the sun and wind could provide enough energy for the entire globe before 2050, according to the study.
Stores electricity all year round
Handegård’s claim that wind power works less than 35 percent of the time was also refuted by fact-checking specialists at actually no. Norwegian wind turbines produce electricity almost all year round, although they are not producing at 100 percent all the time. Handegård’s claim is as wrong as the claim that the car does not run because it does not have top speed all the time.
Hydrogen and batteries are an important part of a renewable society. For example, hydrogen is an important contribution to making long-distance transportation emission-free, while batteries contribute, among other things, to important energy storage. In addition, these solutions create jobs in Norway, even if Handegård claims otherwise. Freyr is building a battery factory at Mo i Rana that will employ 1,500 people. Recruitment is already underway. We will see the same gains when new and green hydrogen production is established in Norway.
In the coming years, Norway will need more onshore wind power. Among other things, it has to do with the fact that half of the energy we use today is fossil and must be replaced in order to solve the climate crisis. In addition, plenty of clean and affordable energy is needed to secure existing industry and make the country attractive for new investment. Over the past few weeks, three reports have been submitted, all of which indicate that Norway needs more renewable energy to achieve these goals. This applies to the short-term market analysis from Statnett, the Energy Transition Outlook from Det Norske Veritas (DNV) and the Strong Enough Green Transition from PWC. It is completely unrealistic to think that energy demand can be met without new wind power. In 2020 and 2021, a total of about 10 TWh of new energy production was put into operation, of which 8 TWh from wind power. In other words, without wind power, almost no new renewable energy would be developed in Norway.
Central power source
Other forms of renewable energy such as solar and hydropower are also needed. However, it cannot replace the competitive advantage that wind energy provides. About half of the wind power produced in Norway is sold to industry through long-term power agreements at low prices. This secures jobs and ensures the competitiveness of bedrock companies such as Hydro, Alcoa and Eramet. Therefore, the industry itself is quite clear that it needs wind energy.
Hydropower in Norway makes wind power a viable solution for the country. When it is windy, water is supplied to the tanks using wind power instead. When there is little wind, the water that was saved is used, so that the necessary energy is produced. In Norway, we use the most electricity in late autumn and winter. At this time, there is also the least flow to the water tanks because precipitation comes in the form of snow. But winter and late fall are also the most windy, so wind power makes a special contribution to energy supplies at these times of the year.
In the future, Norway will need more power plants, but this need will not come as a result of new wind energy. The primary reason is the widespread electrification that society has to go through. Onshore wind power is a zero-emission, mature and efficient technology. So it is an essential part of our renewable future.
Norwegian wind turbines produce electricity almost all year round, although they are not producing at 100 percent all the time. Handegård’s claim is as wrong as the claim that the car does not run because it does not have top speed all the time.
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