Tale/innlegg | Dato: 31.08.2022 | Nærings- og fiskeridepartementet
Av: Næringsminister Jan Christian Vestre (H2 Symposium i Tyssedal, 24. august 2022)
Hydrogen represents a tremendous opportunity for green growth in Norwegian industry.
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It is a pleasure for me to be here in Tyssedal today and meet all of you.
And what a promising topic we are here to discuss!
Hydrogen represents a tremendous opportunity for green growth in Norwegian industry, and is therefore a topic close to my heart.
Some might say VERY close to my heart – this can be confirmed by my girlfriend who is currently learning Norwegian.
Her vocabulary so far includes essential phrases such as «grønne industriarbeidsplasser» and «øke eksporten utenom olje og gass».
How to talk about green industry and increased exports – apparently, those are the first things you learn if I’m your teacher.
Building new, green industry in Norway is a major goal for this government.
Earlier this summer we presented a roadmap for the transition we are calling the Green Industrial Initiative.
In this roadmap we emphasize seven core sectors where Norway has every chance to succeed:
- Offshore wind
- Carbon capture and storage (and utilization)
- The battery industry, with activity along the whole value-chain
- Greening of the most power-intensive industries
- Forestry and forest bioeconomy
- Green shipping.
And saving the best for last, my friends: hydrogen!
We know there is great potential for developing a value chain for production, distribution and use of hydrogen in Norway, with low or zero emissions.
We also see significant opportunities for a Norwegian supply industry within hydrogen-related goods and services.
Hardanger Hydrogen Hub is part of this exciting development, and I encourage you to join the growing global network for hydrogen production and distribution.
By working together we can develop new technologies, create a demand for new services and products, and establish more green, well-paid jobs.
And, of course – contribute to a greener world, using less fossil fuel.
It’s a win-win situation!
No wonder we are eager to see the market for hydrogen up and running!
Now – let’s look at what it would take to get us there.
There is still a need to develop technology and cut costs along the entire hydrogen value chain.
Some of this can be done through better policies.
I am a strong believer in an active government that is closely involved in the development of industry.
At the same time, this government believes in a technology-neutral approach.
In some areas, both hydrogen and ammonia are possible solutions for reducing emissions.
It is still early days and we don’t know which energy solutions will prevail in the longer term.
It’s not my job as a politician to decide which solution should be chosen in each instance.
The market should be driven by demand from commercial customers.
Our job as politicians is to help the market overcome a range of barriers.
We have friends from both France and Brazil here with us today.
This is an example of how the green future can strengthen existing bonds, and also create new ones.
We want to pave the way for collaboration and partnerships at the industrial level in Europe, while also encouraging global collaboration.
Working together, we need to develop new application areas, reduce costs and increase energy efficiency. We must also develop regulations and standards, infrastructure and commercial arrangements that allow for long-term investments.
We believe that competitive energy markets, with efficient pricing of greenhouse gas emissions, will get us the results we want.
What matters now is to facilitate the move towards a future with large-scale production of hydrogen with low to zero emissions, at the lowest possible costs.
To succeed, we need better infrastructure and commercial arrangements that allow for long-term investments.
In this regard, promising things are happening in Norway.
Last year, three exciting hydrogen projects, two of them forming part of the IPCEI framework, were granted the equivalent of 100 million Euros in government support.
One of them was at Tizir, right here in Tyssedal.
They will spend the money on developing new technology that allows them to switch from using coal to green hydrogen as an energy source in their production.
Just this June, the state-owned enterprise Enova granted more than one billion Norwegian kroner/ 100 million Euros in support to five maritime hydrogen hubs along the coast, and to seven different cutting-edge vessels that will run on hydrogen and ammonia.
Later this year, we’ll see the world’s first car ferry with hydrogen-electric propulsion start sailing between Hjelmeland and Ombo.
This shows how Norway can and will push the global development of zero emission solutions!
Friends, you all know that the production of hydrogen requires a lot of energy.
And we know that it makes no sense to produce hydrogen if that causes total emissions to increase.
Production of green hydrogen – using renewable energy – has the advantage of flexibility and proximity to the customers.
However, production of blue hydrogen from natural gas has a larger potential in terms of volume, but may require substantial economies of scale to be profitable.
Norway is well positioned for taking part in both the green and blue hydrogen value chains.
Our electricity mix is almost 100 per cent renewable, and we still have reserves of natural gas.
We also have suitable locations for safe storage of CO2 offshore.
Earlier this year, we announced an ambition to open for 30 GW of offshore wind production in Norway by 2040.
In the longer term, production of hydrogen could be coupled with production of renewable, offshore wind power.
And last, but not least: Norway has the most valuable resource of all – a supply industry with highly skilled and experienced workers, eager to apply their knowledge from the oil and gas industry to new areas.
This gives us a “flying start” for exporting both services and technology within the hydrogen industry.
Dear friends, to me it is obvious that Norway has the elements needed for green growth from hydrogen.
At the same time: we cannot – and we will not – do this all alone.
We want to contribute to developing a thriving hydrogen market in Europe.
As with the national market, the production has to be built on demand.
And guess what? That demand is already there – and it is increasing.
When I travel to Germany, I’m met with great interest in the development of a Norwegian hydrogen industry, and the potential for importing Norwegian hydrogen.
We are also in talks with other countries about using the Norwegian advantages and capabilities to deliver hydrogen.
Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine has shown us the importance of energy security.
Europe can no longer be dependent on the cooperation of authoritarian regimes.
In the time to come, it will be extremely important to speed up the development of alternative energy sources that can replace fossil fuels, and the needed infrastructure.
Dear friends, change is needed now, towards a greener world and a greener future.
One of the big contributions Norway can make is through its development of the hydrogen industry.
It is necessary to make hydrogen a competitive, safe and accessible alternative.
To accomplish that, we have to work together.
Across industries, across the public and private sector and across borders.
Soon, our industrial partners in France, in Brazil and many other places will learn the meaning of these wonderful Norwegian phrases:
«Grønne industriarbeidsplasser» and «øke eksporten utenom olje og gass».
Thank you so much for your attention!