NTNU Energy Transition Conference

Minister of Petroleum and Energy Terje Aasland held this pre-recorded speech at the NTNU Energy Transition Conference hosted in Trondheim on 29th March 2022.

Ladies and gentlemen, friends of the energy industries, good morning!

We meet today with a sad and alarming backdrop – war and conflict – in Europe – in 2022!

The consequences of the war in Ukraine are first and foremost humanitarian, but  they also affect the global energy markets and energy prices.

It holds an important message to all of us: Access to affordable energy is key for economic growth, businesses and good lives across the world.

On top of this, we must meet the energy demand within the framework of our climate goals and environmental sustainability – as the UN climate panel’s latest report reminded us.

Let there be no doubt: Securing affordable and available energy, while at the same time reducing emissions, is a great challenge – to all of us.

The urgency is greater now than before.

Therefore, I am pleased to see that the main topic of this year’s conference is accelerating this transition.

I strongly believe we can meet the challenges, and that they will provide new opportunities.

Cutting emissions and helping others to cut theirs, is also about creating new jobs, activity, and opportunities in national and international markets.

As a significant energy nation both in terms of petroleum and renewables, Norway has many opportunities as the world strives to secure enough energy while reaching our common climate goals.

Reaching those goals is what our policies aim for.

However, policies alone are not enough. We also need business and industry.

Gathered in Trondheim, at the Energy Transition Conference, I know there are many representatives from the industry - and from research and development.

The priority for this government is to work together with all of you, to help us all succeed in the transition towards a renewable, circular and sustainable society.

I believe this reflects the very core of how to approach the energy transition: The close co-operation between industries, research and policies.

The Norwegian government has pointed out a direction – where we together will grasp the opportunities and solve the challenges this transition represents.

In our governing platform, our ambitions are clear:

We will have an active approach – creating jobs, increasing exports and facilitating new and existing industries based on our common natural resources.

Natural resources, such as renewable power.

Today, our power system is receiving much attention, for a number of reasons.

Since we entered office in October last year, our main focus has been to reduce the short-term effects of the high electricity prices.

But we must also  look at what we can do in the longer run – to make sure such events will not happen again – in a future where we know the demand for power will increase.

In addition, we must look at  measures such as energy
efficiency, grid improvements and ways of producing more power.

As for our petroleum industry:

We all know its importance when it comes to jobs and value creation here in Norway, as well as securing reliable supply to European markets.

Our attention and ambitions should be accordingly. 

Our government will develop, not dismantle, our petroleum sector.

Development means predictability; Therefore, we will
facilitate a continued high level of activity on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.

On the other hand, development also means change.

So, our government will co-operate with the industry to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from our continental shelf by 50 per cent by 2030, to net zero by 2050.

Finally, we must exploit our opportunites within renewables and petroleum, and ensure a green transition in traditional industries as well as in new business areas.

Such as offshore wind, CCS and hydrogen.

Dear friends,

A successful energy transition is at the heart of reaching the global climate challenge.

Adding it all up, Norway has a near perfect starting point to meet  the challenges ahead facing the global energy system:

It will take a bit of co-operation. Between industry, research and development and policy.

It will take a bit of direction. To develop our renewable power system and the petroleum industry.

And not least, to provide room and support for finding new, sustainable ways for further progress.

Thank you so much for your attention and the best of luck with the conference!