Powerful renewable energy changes in Norway

Nearly half of the total consumption of energy in Norway is based on electricity produced by hydro

Hvard Vaggen Malvik Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy

power. Over the last couple of years the growth in consumption has made Norway a net importer of electricity during years when precipitation is normal. This new energy situation has led to concrete action. New objectives have been presented and new measures will be implemented.

The new governmental objectives are:

  • to limit energy use considerably more than would be the case if developments were allowed to continue unchecked;
  • to increase the use of new renewable energy sources, heat pumps and waste heat for central heating purposes by 4 TWh by the year 2010; and
  • to install wind turbines with a production capacity of 3 TWh per year by the year 2010.

To achieve these objectives, a package of energy measures is needed, including a gradual increase in the electricity tax combined with grants for investments within a framework of up to NOK 5 billion (where NOK is the Norwegian Krone), over a 10-year period. The objectives and the financial package were both approved by the Storting (the Norwegian Parliament) in March 2000.

In June this year, the Norwegian government decided to establish a new central agency that will be responsible for achieving the objectives outlined above. The new agency will be established in 2001 and will take over work now executed by the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE) in this area. The agency will also have responsibility for work presently carried out by the Regional Energy Efficiency Centres. The new body will be more independent than NVE, as a directorate, could be. It will be working closer to the market and will be allowed to choose the most cost-effective measures in order to achieve the governmentís objectives. Furthermore, the government is proposing legislative amendments which make it possible to collect all funding related to the transition process in a single fund, which will then be administered by the new agency. The new agency will be located in Trondheim.

This Newsletter helps towards our objectives by raising the profile of new renewable energy developments both inside and outside Norway. By sharing information and technology, we increase our possibility to make this earth a cleaner place. The following article on small-scale hydro power has to be seen in this view. By reading it, hopefully you will be inspired to contact the CADDET Norwegian team for further information on how to develop small-scale hydro power in your country.