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Breaking new ground: the wind industry and the global energy transition

Minister of Petroleum and Energy gave an introduction at the Global Wind Summit in Hamburg on 25 September.

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Ministers, friends and colleagues, Guten Morgen! 

Thank you for the invitation to Hamburg, and thank you for the chance to say a few words about today's topic from a Norwegian perspective.

Norway has a unique starting point when it comes to energy. 

We have large oil and gas reserves, especially gas. 
Most of our gas exports goes to Europe. 
Norwegian gas covers about 30 percent of the gas used in Germany.

At the same time, we also have much renewable energy. Ninety eight percent [98%] of our electricity production comes from hydropower. About seventy percent [70%] of our total energy use consist of renewable energy.

Clean, reliable and flexible hydropower has been the backbone of our power supply for a long time. This will continue.

At the same time, Norway has lots of wind power resources.

We see a strong and increasing interest in wind power. Right now, many large onshore projects are being built.  

The development of wind power in Norway creates opportunities for suppliers and investors, from both Norway and other countries.

The government welcomes the further development of wind power in Norway.

Our policy is simple: in general, the development of renewable energy should be market-based.

We are not planning to introduce any new subsidies for renewable energy.

On the other hand, we are now identifying locations on land best suited for wind power.  Available wind resources, grid capacity and impact on the environment and host communities will be important yardsticks.

This will ensure a balanced development of wind power.

Another important aspect of the Norwegian power system is our relations with our neighbours.

We have traded power with our Nordic neighbours for decades. Now, cables to the UK and Germany are also being built.

We need a close cooperation with our European neighbours, as we face many of the same challenges.

One of these challenges is more use of renewable electricity.

Because of our hydropower resources, Norway has for a long time used electricity for more purposes than  other countries. It has been the foundation for a large, power-intensive industry in Norway.

Even so, we are now seeking to electrify new sectors. The transport sector is key. Norway already has the highest number of electric cars per capita in the world.

We are also moving forward with electric ships and ferries. This development will continue.

We are also promoting the development of new industries, such as large, power-consuming data centres.

Europe is going in the same direction. I believe power trading across borders is an important part of the solution when our societies use electricity for new purposes.

Please allow me also to say a few words about offshore wind.

We are preparing the opening of one or two areas in Norwegian waters for offshore renewable energy production. These areas might be relevant for large, commercial projects in the future.

In line with our general policy, we are not planning to introduce new subsidies for these areas.

Already, Norwegian expertise in offshore operations have been used in developing large offshore wind farms. Hywind Scotland, the first floating windfarm in the world, is a good example.

Norwegian industry has broad knowledge and competence related to oil and gas, renewable energy and the maritime sector. It is interesting to see this expertise put to use in offshore wind projects.

I am convinced that Norwegian firms will have a lot to offer in the offshore wind sector.

Norway sees a great potential in floating offshore wind, and will continue to follow the development closely.

I look forward to hearing your perspectives on these issues.

Thank you for your attention!

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