Tale/innlegg | Dato: 24.11.2023 | Nærings- og fiskeridepartementet
Av: Næringsminister Jan Christian Vestre (InvestEU)
Holdt av næringsminister Jan Christian Vestre 24. november 2023
Sjekkes mot fremføring
Implementing partners and honoured guests,
It is my pleasure as Minister of Trade and Industry to welcome you to Oslo.
I have certainly been looking forward to this day!
I am pretty sure there has never been a meeting quite like this in Norway before, where so many important players in the green and digital transformation are gathered in one room.
With us today, we have private and public investors, project promoters, and business promotion agencies,
which contribute with knowledge and investments for the necessary and urgently needed transition ahead.
Green Alliance, establishing a framework for closer cooperation on climate, energy, and industrial transformation.
And in May, we joined the InvestEU-programme.
Today, we build on our alliance.
Norway and the EU share the same visions for the future:
To achieve our shared climate goals,
build sustainable infrastructure,
promote innovation and digitisation,
create green industries and jobs –
all while strengthening Europe’s strategic autonomy.
InvestEU is a powerful programme for achieving our shared visions.
Norway already participates in several EU programmes and agencies.
Areas covered include anything from research, climate change and statistics, to health and traffic safety.
Here in Norway, our Green Industrial Initiative is the roadmap for accelerating the green transition.
It matches perfectly with the InvestEU-programme.
We share the objective of attracting as much private capital as possible towards the green transition.
I am also confident that our efforts through the Green Industrial Initiative will ensure that Norway will remain a key partner for Europe going forward.
When your country is basically one long coastline, the ocean and everything in it becomes very important.
As long as there have been Norwegians, we have been a seafaring people, creating connections and exchanging ideas – although, for certain Vikings, their international dealings were somewhat one-sided.
I assure you that we have a deeper understanding of the advantages of mutually beneficial relations today.
At the same time, we still see ourselves as an ocean nation with high ambitions for the blue economy.
Many innovative and highly competent industries have been built along the Norwegian coast.
For instance, we are at the forefront when it comes to developing emission free marine transport.
The first car ferry with hydrogen-electric propulsion began sailing this year.
Together with forthcoming support for maritime hydrogen hubs, these examples show how Norway can be a good partner in pushing the development of zero emission solutions.
Developing a complete value chain for hydrogen is also an important part of our Green Industrial Initiative.
We want to establish production, distribution and usage of Hydrogen at the same time, and by that play an important role when it comes to cutting emissions in hard-to-abate sectors.
Along with the EU’s “Blue Invest”-initiative, I am sure we will see great progress in these fields.
Batteries are also a key technology in the green transition. We all know that the global demand for batteries is expected to multiply.
At the Ministerial Meeting of the European Battery Alliance in Brussels in March, I underlined the importance of strengthening the work with upstream suppliers in the value chain.
Especially with regards to raw materials and battery materials.
And downstream there is a need for more recycling and after-use solutions.
There is also a considerable demand for skills development.
These are all areas where Norway has a lot to offer.
Norway has Europe’s largest deposits of many of the critical raw materials needed in the global green economies.
We recently introduced a new mineral strategy to increase production in an economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable way.
Our ambition is to build the most sustainable mining industry in the world, and I am very confident we will succeed.
We also have our greatest asset, which I am immensely proud of: The efficiency and highly developed skillset of Norwegian workers.
They operate within a framework that prioritises good working conditions and environmentally sound value chains.
Finally, my friends, Norway reinforced our commitment towards a green industry transition this summer by adding two new areas to the Green Industrial Initiative:
namely the solar industry and manufacturing.
I want to close this speech by sharing some thoughts on solar energy.
Today, Europe’s access to solar PVs depends on China.
More than 90 percent of units installed in Europe today, are imported from China.
Despite the dark winters, Norway have been a pioneer in the development of the solar industry.
Right now, we have the advantage of holding the relevant expertise and competence needed, and we have some key companies, which can take a leading role in the development of this value chain.
For instance; we have the only ingot and wafer producer in Europe.
However, our shared ambition for a European solar industry is fragile as our industry faces major challenges.
Record low prices driven by an oversupply of Chinese-made modules, force our industry to scale back or halt production.
But we can change this. I think we have to change this. And I think we need to change it now.
I am therefore glad to be invited to the forthcoming ministerial meeting of the European Solar PV Industry Alliance to discuss with friends how we can solve these issues.
I have no doubt that Norway will play an important role in this work.
Our government has already proposed to substantially increase public support for green innovation and sustainable economic growth in Norway this autumn.
Coupled with the InvestEU programme and other key EU initiatives, I am confident that we will be able to further accelerate the green and digital transition both in Norway and in the rest of Europe.
Honoured guests! I look forward to our further cooperation and to all the things we’ll achieve together.
Thank you for your attention.