On Friday, April 8, the Støre . government arrived In addition to the new energy message With the new promise of investing in renewable energy:
The most important message is that we need a renewable energy effort. Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store said during the presentation that in Norway we have to produce more renewable energy, and this is a European mission.
The report stated that the Stoere government would “facilitate large-scale development of offshore winds in Norway”. The word “offshore wind” is mentioned 85 times in the document.
However, the government faces severe criticism. The ambitions of the Støre government are staggering, as Knut Kroepelien at Energi Norge thinks:
– If we want to avoid subsidies, we must expand further and we must build so that we can export. We don’t get investors for something as small as this, he tells Nettavisen.
– We’ll be a little hit
The Støre government has scaled back the first plans from 3,000 to 1,500 megawatts (1.5 gigawatts), and a total of 4.5 gigawatts is now in set plans. This corresponds to about 40 TWh per year when production is fully operational in 2040.
Kröpelin points out that the ambitions of Sweden, Germany and the United Kingdom are ten times greater than theirs.
The British, for example, will develop 50 gigawatts by 2030, According to the BBC.
– It’s good to start allocating land, but Norway still risks becoming a small land compared to our neighboring countries. Kröpelin says it will not benefit the main Norwegian industry or the renewable energy industry.
Like LO, NHO and a number of industry representatives, Kroepelien believes that more comprehensive development is needed:
We envision development corresponding to about 2-3 gigawatts (GW) per year during 2030-2040. Then we can reach 40-60 GW in 2050, which corresponds to total offshore wind production on the Norwegian shelf of 160-300 TWh in 2050, Kröpelin tells Netavisen.
Norway’s total energy production capacity in 2022, for comparison, is about 150 TWh.
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Nor was the Norwegian Oil and Gas Organization concerned with the fossil industry impressed:
– We are surprised that the government does not have a higher and more realistic level of ambition for offshore wind. Many countries around us are now setting targets for their offshore wind investments, and the government should have used the opportunity to set a high level of ambition to get the large-scale industrial investment in offshore wind that Norway and the industry now need, says CEO Heldigon. T. Blindheim.
Blindheim was previously aware that offshore wind investment must be opened to hybrid cables, so that exports are possible. The government still wants to retain power in Norway:
The offshore wind industry in general has been clear that only a hybrid network will ensure development on an industrial scale without the need for public support, something that only a cable to the Norwegian mainland would require. Radial will be able to facilitate the project, not build an industry. So we are surprised that the government has not chosen to listen to the industry, says the Norwegian director of oil and gas.
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In addition to the energy report, the government stresses that a thorough investigation of the projects must be conducted. One of the key issues is whether or not offshore wind energy production will be connected to the European energy market, through so-called hybrid cables:
“Connecting to Norway will only increase Norway’s energy surplus and, apart from that, contribute to lower national energy prices. For offshore floating winds to be profitable, there is a need to develop technology and reduce costs”, government writes.
The first investment will go exclusively to the domestic market.
“Given the progress made in the work to achieve offshore wind in Norway and the need to increase energy production in the Norwegian power system, arrangements are being made to connect portions of capacity in the southern North Sea II to southern Norway. The government is therefore suggesting that the first project on the southern North Sea II, with a capacity of 1,500 MW, should be connected only to Norway.”
The project was reduced from 3000 to 1500 megawatts.
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Only then will it be profitable
Both interest groups are positive about faster and more efficient licensing processes, but Kroepelien fears that too much significant time lost along the way will now be investigated.
For investors and offshore wind energy to make profits, the level of ambition must increase tenfold, he believes:
– For the development of fixed-bottom offshore wind to be economically profitable, we need large scale and energy exchange. If we are to avoid subsidies, it must be possible to sell energy where it is most valuable.
The issue of more energy exports created heated political debate – many argued that energy exports should be slowed, and the government halted new foreign cables at the Hurdal platform.
– Isn’t it reasonable, after this electricity price crisis, to give priority to obtaining more energy, because that is intended for the local market?
If we can build large and profitable volumes, we get the net energy flow to Norway, not net exports. We note that we started with a direct connection to Norway, and that’s okay. At the same time, it should be noted that in the following stages we will have regular access to a new space. If not, no investor would accept it because it would be too small.
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– Prices will be reduced
Kropelin finds the energy report, with the government added, not offensive enough:
It’s a good idea to spend some time studying hydrogen, offshore wind, and electricity export opportunities. But the report contains little operational policy, says Kropelin, who believes increased development is absolutely necessary:
The bill doesn’t go up without a new renewable industry. Even the most optimistic calculations suggest offshore wind production before 2030, but it should take no more than 8 years.
According to the Norwegian Energy Director, offshore wind will provide a better balance in the energy market:
– We are in a unique situation where we have hydroelectricity which is largely stored. Offshore wind combined with hydropower would be a great combination. We are one of the few countries that can benefit from cheap offshore wind. We can achieve both good profitability and a better balance by alternating wind and water export and water storage.
NVE is tasked until 1 October to study the electricity price implications of developing offshore wind power. According to Kroepelien, prices are expected to fluctuate more.
A Statnett report from the end of March notes small consequences for prices in Norway:
– An increase in energy consumption in Norway without a corresponding increase in energy production will lead to an increase in energy prices. This means that offshore winds will help lower prices, Statnett writes in the report.
– don’t rush
The Red Party opposes wind power on land and at sea. Sophie Marhaug, the second deputy chair of the Energy and Environment Committee in the Norwegian parliament, now fears new conflicts over offshore wind, and does not think that the expansion of offshore wind is urgent:
It is not surprising that the energy industry wants more wind power. We can’t scale that much without good surveys. Any conflicts with fishing interests must be clarified. So it comes to a strong precautionary principle. As other parties compete to expand as much as possible as soon as possible, we think we don’t fully anticipate results yet.
– But other countries, such as the United Kingdom, are in full swing in large-scale development. Aren’t we having a bit of a bad time if this is the new oil?
– First, we use this to extend the life of the oil by electrifying the shelf to decorate the Norwegian climate accounts.
The energy industry has repeatedly justified the need to increase investment in renewable energy with an estimated energy deficit if any. Marhoj believes this does not have to be:
– The NVE projection shows that there will be no power deficit, while Statnett believes we could have a power deficit of three TWh in 2026. So the country is not on the same page. If Parliament had adopted specific targets for construction savings, we could have reduced consumption by a tenth of a TWh. We can also reduce by five TWh by upgrading existing hydroelectric plants, says Sofie Marhaug.
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