June 8, 2023


Complete News World

Slow down electricity and create a technology neutral assessment!

An assessment of Norway’s electricity supply to 2050 should be carried out as soon as possible – focusing on the lowest possible system costs for safely delivering electricity to consumers. The assessment must be technology-neutral, i.e. no form of energy is excluded, not even nuclear energy. Norway should consider slowing down the electrification of society until we have a long-term and sustainable solution to the declared energy and electricity shortages.

Reported effect and power deficit

Civil engineer Bjørn Hennum Øvrebotten wants a technically neutral assessment of the importance of energy sources for security of supply. Photo: private

NVE report “Balance of Norwegian and Nordic influence until 2030” It provides a good introduction to the problem regarding the balance of influence; Already by 2030 we will have periods when we will have an energy deficit in the least hours. So we’ll likely have to import in order to have enough impact. The report highlights the importance of a “satisfactory balance of power at the national level,” and warns against making Norway dependent on imports from countries with a tighter energy profile.

Statnett estimates we can have it energy deficit from 2027. There are many assumptions behind such an assessment, and one of them is the oil industry’s plan to increase consumption by 9 TWh through off-the-shelf electrification by 2027.

Changing assumptions

It is the duty of those who will govern and lead to look critically at past decisions when circumstances change. The situation in 2022/2023 is very different from what “everyone” thought in 2014-2015, when overseas cables were certified and the Paris Agreement was negotiated. Germany is dealing with an energy deficit and has managed to phase out nuclear power and increase coal power. They have become dependent on a disorganized power, and we are beginning to feel the consequences. The UK faces similar challenges and both will need modifiable strength.

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With power and energy shortages expected in the future, there should be room to reconsider the pace of community electrification. This was not part of the mandate of the Energy Commission. Electrification of the shelf and any initiative for ammonia plants are clear candidates for delay.

So far, the focus has been on increasing energy production until 2050 mainly through renewable and unregulated energy sources, although there are many issues with this, both for the environment and security of supply. It has not been shown to be realistic or what the consequences of importing in the darkest and quietest of times may be in the future.

Energy mix in 2050 that gives the lowest system cost

Let us as soon as possible lay a professional foundation that can make possible an informed discussion, for example by finding answers to the following questions:

What energy mix to 2050 provides a fossil-free, sustainable, and safe energy supply all the way to consumers at the lowest possible system cost?

Svensk Næringsliv has asked Qvist Consulting Ltd to carry out such an assessment that assesses all forms of energy; «Scenario analysis 2050». Here is a simplified, rounded summary of the results from the technology-neutral Swedish simulations given the growth from 170 TWh today to 310 TWh (+83 percent) in 2050:

50 percent from nuclear power, 30 percent from terrestrial wind power and 20 percent from hydroelectric power (about 80 percent adjustable/stable power). Offshore wind and solar power each end up with a contribution of 0 percent. Simulations done with 100 percent renewables in the mix show about a 50 percent increase in system costs and about a 40 percent higher electricity price for customers compared to a technology-neutral mix.

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Consequences of energy sources on security of supply

If one takes the liberty of adjusting this for Norwegian conditions, with a high primary share of hydropower, it is reasonable to believe that the outcome of a similar assessment with a focus on system costs and security of supply could produce the following energy mix in 2050, given consumption doubling soon:

50 percent of hydroelectricity (All we have today + upgrades), 20 percent of the Earth’s wind energy And 30 percent of nuclear energy (about 80 percent adjustable/stable power). Implicit in this is the high probability that offshore wind and solar power will be able to contribute to increased system costs and reduced security of supply, as in Sweden’s assessment.

The call is for a similar, technology-neutral assessment, in which no form of energy is excluded before it is analyzed, especially for Norway. This will be able to provide a realistic discussion where the consequences of the choices you make are understood.

Moreover, we must dare to consider the possibilities that lie in postponing shelf electrification and large consumers such as the ammonia and battery plants and the Melkoya plant.

Buying allowances in Europe is a completely legitimate way to achieve emissions reductions up to 2030. Until then, every kilowatt-hour we choose to use must be evaluated very carefully to avoid “wasting” our resources, so that we too can reach the 2050 target. We must not lose sight of the fact that sustainable and stable energy is the key to continued prosperity and development.