Åpningsinnlegg German Norwegian Energy Forum

Olje- og energiminister Kjell-Børge Freiberg holdt dette innlegget på German Norwegian Energy Forum i Düsseldorf, Tyskland 11.oktober 2019

Minister president.


Ladies and gentlemen,


First, let me thank the Norwegian Embassy and Innovation Norway for putting together this event.

Today, we will discuss the challenges - and opportunities – of the energy transition: And, we are in the right place.

This is a region known for energy, for industry and technology.

Not least, it is also the location of Statkraft, one of Europe's largest producers of renewable energy, and their trading hub here in Düsseldorf which I look forward to visit afterwards.


We are facing  a number of challenges in the energy sector going forward.

A growing world population needs to improve their standard of living for billions of people globally.

For this, we need more energy, more efficient use of energy and more affordable energy.

At the same time, we need to reduce emissions in order to limit climate change.

Navigating this double challenge is at the core of the energy transition.

It is important that we let the market work to find the best solutions. Putting a price on carbon emissions is important.  

Energy is central to the relationship between our two countries.

  • First, natural gas has a lot to offer in the energy transition
  • Second, more cooperation in renewable energy and more interconnection benefit both countries
  • Third, CCS Carbon Capture and Storage - has great potential to help cut emissions

Let me highlight some examples, beginning with natural gas:

Gas has a lot to offer in the transition to a low carbon energy system and can help reducing emissions:

  • by replacing coal, and
  • as a flexible partner for renewable energy

The last few years, Norway has supplied up to one third of the total use of German gas. We are the second largest supplier of gas to Germany. And we will continue to do so!

Norwegian gas provides heating and electricity to millions of German homes and industries: From making food to producing Mercedes, my favourite car.

I am happy that Germany has decided to phase out its coal. Replacing it with gas and renewables will give big and quick emission cuts.

Natural gas is also a good partner to renewables.

In the longer term, natural gas can be de-carbonised,
for example by shift  to hydrogen with CCS. And I'm looking forward to hearing Equinor present their plans for this later, today.

I am also glad to see the increase in renewable energy in Germany. You have shown great leadership in the field of renewables by implementing die Energiewende. This has had a massive impact on costs and technology development in wind- and solar power.


In the renewables sector, Norway and Germany have a close and wide partnership.

Norway, as a large hydropower nation, is one of the few countries in the world with a surplus /SØR-PLØSS/ of renewable power.

When the new Nordlink-cable is in operation, Norway can therefore provide more flexible power to Germany.  

Or offshore wind.

In April, I had the pleasure of taking part in the opening of the Arkona wind park, a cooperation between E-ON and Equinor.

This marks the next chapter in our energy cooperation and an important step in the green transition.

The project will supply around 400 000 households with renewable energy – saving up to 1.2 million tons of CO2 each year.


Finally, let me say a few words about Carbon capture and storage, CCS.

In September, I had the pleasure – together with the European Commission - to host the European high-level conference on CCS in Oslo.

Representatives from 26 European countries took part. The level of involvement we saw reflects the growing momentum we now see on CCS in Europe. 

And let me be clear – we need cooperation to make CCS a reality for European industries.

This is why I was happy to see the Northern Light Project sign Memorandum of Understandings with seven European industrial partners, including HeidelbergCement, representing potential capture sites for delivery of CO2 to the offshore storage.

And not to forget the importance as Chancellor Angela Merkel now views CCS as a potential key element for Germany's efforts to tackle climate change.


Ladies and gentlemen,

The partnership between Germany and Norway within energy is wide and strong.

We live in a world of big changes:

Energy markets are changing.

Technologies are changing,

The climate is changing.

What I am sure will not change, is the special relationship between our two countries.

Energy connects us, and will continue to do so in the years ahead.

Thank you for your attention!