Speech/statement | Date: 21/11/2023 | Ministry of Petroleum and Energy
Olje- og energiminister Terje Aasland holdt dette innlegget på EU Hydrogen Week 20.november i Brüssel.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Thank you so much for the opportunity to close this session on clean hydrogen storage in Europe.
Let me also thank the participants in the panel for interesting insights.
Energy is at the very heart of the EU – Norway cooperation. And it has been so, for quite some time. The last couple of years have truly shown the importance of this cooperation.
As we strive for energy security and sustainability, hydrogen produced with low or zero emissions has emerged as a promising solution – one of the many tools we will need in our toolbox on our way to carbon neutrality.
For this to happen, the production and the offtake side have to be established at the same time – as well as infrastructure for transportation, distribution and storage. We are creating a whole new market and new value-chains!
The Norwegian Government strongly supports the European Commission effort to scale up a market for hydrogen.
We will do our part in promoting hydrogen produced with zero or low emissions as a climate solution. And we are well on the way!
We have large renewable resources, crucial to produce green hydrogen. In fact, already 100 years ago we had production of green hydrogen in Norway.
We also produce natural gas close to the European market. And we have the competence needed in CCS. We have almost three decades of experience with safe and permanent storage of CO2 on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.
In the short and medium term, blue hydrogen can be an important contribution to the establishment of a functioning hydrogen market.
Green hydrogen produced on a large scale requires large amounts of renewable power. Both in the EU and in Norway establishing sufficient capacity will take time.
Norwegian power system is already close to 100 per cent renewable. Last year the net export of renewable power from Norway to Europe through interconnectors was 12,5 Terawatt hours.
However, the export of natural gas from Norway was 1250 Terawatt hours.
One hundred times more.
To establish a viable hydrogen market, the focus should be to produce enough volumes of hydrogen, with low to zero emissions, at the lowest possible cost.
In the longer run – as renewable power production increases – the volumes for renewable hydrogen will also increase.
The need for low carbon hydrogen in the shorter term i reflected in support schemes and regulations. This is important for how the hydrogen market will develop.
The requirements in the Renewable Energy Directive is one example.
42 per cent of the hydrogen consumed in industry in 2030 is to come from renewable energy sources. Only five years later, 60 per cent of the hydrogen must be green.
This is a good incentive to support green hydrogen production.
But it can also create a barrier for blue hydrogen and for the establishment of the infrastructure needed.
If the production of renewable hydrogen turns out to be lower than needed, the production of blue, low-carbon hydrogen, also has to be reduced if the industry is to reach the 42 percent target.
Ladies and gentlemen,
I am very pleased to address these issues here in Brussels during “European Hydrogen Week”.
Because, establishing a hydrogen market cannot happen in isolation in each country - it must be developed across borders.
We share ambitious goals for climate action and in the green transition, while ensuring energy security, as affirmed by the EU-Norway Green Alliance of April this year.
Establishing hydrogen storage hubs in key European regions can enable the integration of intermittent power production from renewable energy sources into the grid.
And not least, it provides opportunities to facilitate the production of green hydrogen and ammonia in Europe, which is precisely what we are discussing at this conference.
To sum up, if hydrogen is to become the solution we all hope and work for, we have to develop the entire value chain.
The production and the customer side must be developed, whether it is for domestic use or export. And infrastructure and storage cannot be forgotten.
Also, to create a successful hydrogen market – in time – we will need enough low-to-zero emission hydrogen at an affordable price.
And, both for blue and green value-chains, the access to the input factors is critical – both with regards to renewable power, natural gas and CO2 infrastructure and storage.
In that respect, today I have had the opportunity to take part in the signing of a binding long-term agreement on cross border CO2 transportation and storage, between Yara and Northern Lights.
This is important for Longship, the first full scale CCS-project in Europe, supported by the Norwegian government.
The North Sea is open for storage business! This is groundbreaking for the decarbonization of European heavy industry, opening the market for cross border CO2 transport and storage as a service.
Before me here today, I see you - who represent companies with the know-how and will to invest in facilities, technology and equipment for a completely new market.
I also see policymakers, crucial for providing framework and incentives that can contribute to scaling up the storage capacity we need for a working hydrogen market, but also to unite all those other loose ends that we are looking at in the hydrogen area.
Let us join forces to shape a hydrogen-powered future in Europe.