October 6, 2022

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Securing Energy Policy in Turbulent Times

Securing Energy Policy in Turbulent Times

Debate: – For the Labor party, it is important to ensure sufficient clean and reasonable power for people and industry, to continue stable oil and gas production on the Norwegian shelf and to contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, writes Marianne Severzen Ness, chair of Parliament’s Energy and Environment Committee.

Member of Parliament Marianne Sievertsyn Ness (Labour).
picture: Terje Pedersen / NTB

We have experienced an unusual winter where high energy prices have created great anxiety among individuals and businesses. The situation was aggravated by the brutal Russian war in Ukraine. This underscores how important it is to pursue an energy policy that contributes to business, resilience, and security in turbulent times.

Therefore, the Labor/SPD government is now proposing several measures for a safe and future-oriented energy policy, through our Additional Energy Policy Report. There we clearly declare that Norway will continue to be the industry’s number one choice. Access to plenty of clean and affordable energy for decades has been the Norwegian industry’s number one competitive advantage and it’s a good thing for Norwegian families. We want to make sure that this continues to be an advantage that contributes to value creation, employment and industrial growth across the country.

For Labour, it is important to ensure the provision of clean and affordable energy to individuals and industry, to continue stable oil and gas production on the Norwegian shelf and to contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. The Norwegian petroleum industry should be developed, not terminated. We have to build a new industry on the shoulders of the existing industry. The energy policy will facilitate new industries and promote green industry, among others, offshore wind, hydrogen and carbon dioxide management. This is how we can make a living by cutting climate emissions.

A few days ago, the United Nations Climate Panel released a new report showing that global climate emissions continue to increase. The report shows that there is an urgent need to reduce emissions and increase the pace of restructuring, as well as in Norway. Precisely for this reason, we must intensify our efforts to develop more clean and renewable energy.

The government is taking the work of facilitating the profitable production of offshore wind energy a big step forward. We will simplify the licensing process and come up with several measures to shorten the time for offshore wind construction, so that the first offshore wind projects can be commissioned before 2030.

If we want to develop enough renewable energy, we must also be open to developing wind energy on Earth. But it is important here to have people and municipalities on the team. The government is therefore working to strengthen the role of the municipality and will set more stringent licensing requirements, based on an updated knowledge base.

To help reduce Norwegian greenhouse gas emissions, it is important to facilitate hydrogen production with low or no emissions. We will contribute to the development of a hydrogen market in Europe, and we will also create a national hydrogen market, in which the country will be an important driving force.

The tall ships, which are now under construction, are a major part of the government’s CO2 management policy and part of Norway’s contribution to developing essential climate technologies. The Government will facilitate commercial storage of carbon dioxide on the Norwegian shelf and will continue to work to enhance carbon dioxide management as an important contribution to achieving the temperature target of the Paris Agreement. The government recently granted carbon dioxide licenses in the North Sea and the Barents Sea.

The latter will help realize the Barents Blue project, the first large-scale low-emission ammonia production plant in Europe, located in Finnmark.

Both licenses are significant in making the Norwegian continental shelf a leader in carbon dioxide storage, but also in the development of blue hydrogen and ammonia across the country.

In the difficult times we live in, Norway will continue to be a stable and long-term supplier of oil and gas to Europe. The government has ambitious goals to reduce emissions in the oil and gas industry. Together with industry, we will reduce emissions from oil and gas production on the Norwegian shelf by 50 percent by 2030 and to net zero in 2050. We will actively support a green transition based on experience from the oil and gas industry also in new business areas.

Our main goal remains: we must ensure adequate access to clean and affordable energy. It is good for our competitiveness, and necessary to reduce climate emissions. It helps create jobs, and it’s good for people’s wallet. This is how we will develop Norway as an industrial country.

By Marianne Sievertsyn Ness (Labour)

Chairman of Parliament’s Energy and Environment Committee

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