Remarks by Prime Minister Støre at the 2nd North Sea Summit in Ostend
Speech/statement | Date: 24/04/2023 | Office of the Prime Minister
By Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre (Ostend, Belgium)
Thank you, Alexander [De Croo, Prime Minister of Belgium], it is good to be ‘the new kid on the block’ with my friends around the North Sea, the emerging, biggest energy region, potentially, in the world. Norway is, as you said, the largest provider of energy to Europe. That situation was emphasized last year; we were able to increase our export of gas by some 8-10 percent; that represent 100 TWh of extra energy into Europe. And – we will be able to maintain that for the next few years, so that we can forward the transition.
Transcribed text from a video recording
We have a lot more to contribute, because we have a coastline, we have wind and we have expertise in building heavy things that can stand the pressure from wind and oceans.
So, we are engaging into offshore wind enthusiastically, and today, this morning, Ursula [von der Leyen, the President of the European Commission] and I, we signed the Green Alliance between Norway and the European Union. We have worked on that for a year.
Norway has integrated our objectives to reach the Paris obligations with the European Union; we are partners, we have integrated economies; so we want to reach the targets with the EU partners, and with this Green Alliance we really exemplify how to do that.
One important part is – take this paradox of Russia’s invasion – it has actually accelerated Europe’s independence towards energy security with the renewable push, and we want to be part of that.
So, there are a lot of dimensions here where we have the expertise: offshore wind – especially the floating windmills, which have to build on expertise on heavy structures offshore, and hydrogen production – be it green or in the intermediate time, blue – namely by gas – where we extract the CO2, store it 2 000 meters under the seabed – and Norway has done that for 20-30 years. We know the technology and how to do it.
So, our ambitions are high; by 2040 we aim for 30 GW; that is about 1 500 windmills, and for what is linked to the southern part of Norway, we want to see that in a North Sea perspective – and then, we will follow up along our coast towards the Barents Sea and the Arctic waters, because we also need this energy there.
I would also like to emphasize that we, as governments, should help push this industry to get off the ground, but the key here and the core is the private sector.
I would like to salute you, Alexander, for having followed-up on what Mette [Frederiksen, the Prime Minister of Denmark] did last year in Esbjerg, and here it is even more impressive; the number of companies with world-class expertise. I am happy to see that there are 10-15 Norwegian companies here and they will contribute actively in the side-events which are around here.
So – we are building value chains, they are European, they are in the North Sea, and they will really make a difference. Norway is happy to be part of it, and I hope that we will be able – one day – to invite you to a similar gathering at our shores, and then we will make the windmills turn. – Thank you.