Energy for Tomorrow

State Secretary Marianne Hagen's address at the World Sustainable Development Summit in New Delhi.

Excellencies,
Ladies and gentlemen,
Namaste!

I would like to thank the World Sustainable Development Summit (WSDS) for the opportunity to speak on the important topic of energy for tomorrow.

It is a great pleasure to be here in New Delhi, and a privilege to be addressing this high-level forum.

The WSDS is one of the few international climate forums that give due attention to emerging economies such as India. Small countries like Norway can provide technology and know-how, but we need to partner with emerging economies whose size, speed and momentum are crucial for achieving large-scale sustainable development.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The future is already upon us, and we need to act accordingly.

The demand for energy is growing rapidly. The International Energy Agency estimates that global energy demand will increase by 30 % over the next 25 years.

Improved access to modern energy can boost economic growth, employment opportunities and stability.

Indeed, eradicating poverty and achieving the SDGs will only be possible if we connect the one billion people currently without access to electricity to the grid. However, this needs to be done in a sustainable way.

We need to secure access to energy for everyone, but we also need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

We need to achieve both the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the goals agreed upon in the Paris Climate Agreement.

To put it simply: we need more energy, and we need cleaner energy.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The energy sector is responsible for more than 60 % of the global emissions of greenhouse gases. 40 % of the world’s electricity is produced by burning coal.

The report from the climate panel sends a clear message: There is no room for more coal-fired power plants. The emissions from coal must be reduced significantly and rapidly. And coal must be out of the global energy mix by 2050.

The world will certainly be better off if fossil fuel consumption is in the form of gas rather than coal. Using gas as a replacement for coal is a quick and cost-effective way of cutting emissions.

Over the last decade, renewables have brought disruptive change to the global energy landscape, and have made us rethink the way our energy systems operate.

Since 2010, the average costs of utility-scale solar PV (Photovoltaic) and on-shore wind energy have fallen by an impressive 73 % and 23 %, respectively.

These cost declines are expected to continue.

The Indian Government has contributed significantly to these cost reductions through its auctions for renewables.

Globally, a record-breaking 167 GW of renewable energy capacity was added last year. This is the sixth year in a row in which additional power generation capacity from renewables outpaced conventional sources.

However, as energy systems become more weather-dependent, the need for flexibility increases.

There is a growing need for accessible and flexible energy that can be used to compensate for fluctuations in supply.

This is where natural gas should replace coal. Power production from natural gas responds quickly and fits well with renewables like wind and solar power.

Hydropower is the only renewable form of power that provides this flexibility. Moreover, it provides both long- and short-term flexibility.

Ladies and gentlemen,

India is currently the G20 economy with the highest GDP growth rate. By the end of the year, it will be the 5th or 6th largest economy in the world. But it is also the G20 economy with the lowest level of CO2 emissions per capita.

As India is on the cusp of great economic development and poverty reduction, it follows that Indian emissions could increase significantly. In a business-as-usual scenario, the growth in Indian coal power emissions would in fact exceed the reduction in coal power emissions in the rest of the world.

Still, I am optimistic. Emissions per capita are still low here, and investments in renewables and energy efficiency can displace growth in coal power.

Due to the sheer size of its population, India presents us with one of the best opportunities to achieve sustainable economic growth. Some countries, such as Norway, can provide technology and investments. But it’s India that provides the scale that will make a real difference.

The Indian energy market has already shown itself to offer excellent business opportunities for clean energy investments. India is one of the countries with the largest production of energy from renewable sources. In the electricity sector, renewable energy – including large-scale hydropower – accounted for one-third of the total installed power capacity.

India is the fourth-largest wind power producer in the world.

The target of installing 20 GW of solar power by 2022 was achieved in January 2018 – four years ahead of schedule, and India has set a new target of achieving an impressive 100 GW of solar and 60 GW of wind power by 2022. These goals are ambitious, and rightfully so.

The Indian Government should be commended for its efforts.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Although we are a small country, Norway is a big actor when it comes to energy.

Our domestic power supply is from renewable, flexible and clean hydropower.

Globally, however, we are probably best known as a producer and exporter of oil and gas.

We will continue to be a major oil and gas producer in the near future; but we will also continue to be a strong global advocate for climate change mitigation through increased access to renewable energy.

One example of successful transformation from oil and gas to renewable energy is offshore wind parks that use technology and equipment from the petroleum sector.

Equinor is developing cutting-edge technology for floating offshore wind turbines.

The world’s first floating wind farm, Hywind Scotland, is already supplying 20 000 Scottish homes with reliable renewable electricity.

Around 80 % of the world’s wind power potential is offshore. With Hywind, Equinor is unlocking some of this vast potential.

Norway also has high ambitions for the transport sector. We have adopted the goal of halving the emissions from transport by 2030, which is only 11 years from now.

To achieve this goal, Norway has implemented effective policies to increase the use of electric vehicles. Last year, 31 % (46 092) of all passenger cars that were sold were zero emission vehicles. We are on track to meet our target of all new car sales being zero emission vehicles by 2025.

Moreover, in 2015, the world's first all-electric car and passenger vessel was put into service in a Norwegian fjord. It demonstrated that electrification of car ferries was not just possible, but also more efficient.

Today, more than 70 battery electric or hybrid electric Norwegian car ferries are either in operation, on order, or at the planning stage.

This is no longer a pilot project. It is proven technology, that is ready to be implemented anywhere. And its application is not limited to ferries. The entire maritime sector has begun to recognise the benefits of battery hybrid technology.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Electrification and energy storage will play an essential role in the low-emissions energy of the future.

We are witnessing a major transition in the energy sector.

We have much to gain from working together. And we all want the same thing – secure, affordable and sustainable energy for all. I am confident that – together – we can achieve this.

Thank you.