Energy abounds

Norway and the Norwegian Government are committed – both in the short and long-term – to be a tough and action-oriented leader relating to climate change policy. This commitment was reinforced in 2007 when the Government released a white paper outlining the world’s most ambitious greenhouse gas control targets. Norway will be carbon-neutral by 2050. To meet these goals, Norwegian ingenuity for finding solutions will be harnessed to its full extent.

These activities go hand in hand with improving technical solutions across the entire range of energy-related activities. Here in Norway, it is the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy that administers energy resources, and the focus on reducing carbon emissions has led to a wide range of projects that include the Mongstad Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) Project and the Kårstø CCS Project, in which the Norwegian Government plans to construct a full scale CCS (retrofit) solution for a gasfired power plant in connection to the existing gas fired power plant at Kårstø on the Western coast of Norway.

In addition, there are specific activities in focus that include use of carbon dioxide to improve oil recovery, reducing emissions, and a wide range of initiatives within the areas of oil and gas, hydroelectric power as well as within the emerging energy source sector – the “new” forms of renewable energy besides hydro. The country’s solid record of research and development efforts in energy and the environment over the last decade provides Norway with the tools it needs to reach its goals. At the same time, this comprehensive activity is having the synergy effect that is seeing more and more Norwegian companies working internationally to assist in countries meeting their energy-targets. Norwegian expertise is fast becoming an invaluable – and eminently exportable – commodity.

 

 Click here to read more about the Norwegian Environmental technology sector


Transparency, Effectiveness – & Production
Internationally, Norway is well-known for its expertise within both oil and gas as well as hydropower, using the most advanced technology solutions in raising the levels of not only sustainability and environmental friendliness, but also improving effectiveness in all parts of the supply chain. The oil and gas cluster covers the entire value chain, from exploration and development, production and operation, to decommissioning. The industry develops new technology and competence to increase oil and gas production, and simultaneously maintain the strict regulations for health, safety and environment.

Hydropower is the by far largest source of renewable energy and is also known as perhaps the cleanest form of energy. Norway has the world's second largest per capita hydropower production after Iceland, and is the sixth largest hydropower producer in the world. In a year with normal precipitation, hydropower generation is over 120 TWh, providing 99% of Norway's total power production. Total installed capacity is 29,000 MW. Because Norway also is in a fortunate situation of having close to 50% of the reservoir capacity of Europe, the electricity production is extremely flexible due to this “battery” capacity.

According to a Ministry of Petroleum and Energy spokesperson, “One reason that Norway is succeeding in continually improving its energy production effectiveness is the country’s emphasis on close cooperation with industry and research organizations. This, combined with the Ministry’s overall responsibility for the operations and policy, central organizations as the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate, Statnett SF, Enova SF and Gassnova facilitates a coordinated successful effort.”

Global Focus
SN Power is a growing international hydropower company and is a commercial investor, developer and operator of hydropower projects in emerging markets. SN Power was established in 2002 as a Norwegian limited company owned by Statkraft and Norfund. With its headquarters in Norway, and regional headquarters in Singapore, SN Power has activities in both South America, Asia and is currently expanding into Africa.

Major SN Power activities in 2008 have included the successful transfer of the Ambuklao and Binga hydropower plants in the Philippines and investments in a wind farm in Chile and the opening of SN Power’s new India office by the Norwegian Prime Minister. The company has ambitious targets, aiming at a five-fold increase in the portfolio of operating hydropower assets within 2015. According to President and CEO Øistein Andresen, “Our commitment to sustainability remains a top priority. UN Global Compact’s 10 principles are embedded into our business model as we expand in a socially and environmentally responsible manner. Our role in combating climate change as a significant supplier of renewable energy was reinforced in 2007 when our second project got registered under the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism.”

SN Power owns 50% of the Philippines Ambuklao plant, non-operative due to earthquake activities. The company has begun facility rehabilitation to get back to full production of valuable renewable energy.
© SN Power

 

A Leader in Energy Trading
Nord Pool is Europe’s largest and most liquid marketplace for physical and financial power contracts as well as being the second largest exchange within trading of European Union emission allowances (EUAs) and global certified emission reductions (CERs). The results have been excellent and the future looks even brighter for Nord Pool, having set a new record of 1 060 TWh for turnover in 2007. This together with a net addition of 55 new members led to the best-ever operating profit of NOK 111.8 million – an increase of 61.3% from NOK 69.3 million in 2006.

Nord Pool introduced power derivatives for Germany and the Netherlands in 2007 in order to provide opportunities to trade and clear several markets in one marketplace. Peak contracts for the Nordic market were also listed. In addition, Nord Pool has been granted permission from the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to allow US companies to trade and clear Nordic, international and carbon products. This licence will give Nord Pool the opportunity to set up PowerClick terminals in the US, hence enforce the future NASDAQ OMX global commodity offering and increase the market reach substantially.

The continued development and success of NordPool is a unique experience that began in 1991, when Norway was one of the first countries in the world that has created a liberalized electricity market, a competence many countries seek.

The SN Power 360 MW Magat hydropower plant is the largest in the Philippines, with a reservoir used for irrigation, watering rice fields for 25,000 farmers.
© SN Power

 

Europe’s Energy Battery
The Statkraft Group is a leading player in Europe within renewable energy, generating hydropower, wind power, district heating and managing power plants in Norway, Sweden, Germany and Finland. Through its 50% owned company Norfund Power Invest, Statkraft also owns, develops and operates renewable power production in Asia and South America. Recently, Statkraft took a major step in its ambition to become the European leader in renewable energy with a agreement with E.ON related to a swap involving assets worth 52 hydropower plants, 2 gasfired powerplants 2 biomass plants and 5 district heating plants located in Sweden, Germany and in the UK, and will gain 220 new employees.

The agreement doubles the size of Statkraft operations in the German market. According to CEO Bård Mikkelsen, “We will have one-fifth of the flexible gas power capacity in Germany, we more than double our production capacity, which is important for our energy trading, and we raise our profile and gain a better position for further growth as a leading player in environmentally friendly and renewable energy in Europe.”

Norway has a long tradition for utilizing hydropower and has a long coastline with large potential for new wind power both onshore and offshore. The Norwegian power production is nearly 100% renewable and the hydropower delivers peak power to the northern European markets.

The different characteristics in the thermal-dominated European power system and the Norwegian hydropower system drives the exchange of power between these markets. Peak power from regulated hydropower can be transferred through large inter-connectors to the continental markets during periods of high demand. During periods of low demands the flow of power will normally be reversed as the graph showing Norwegian power exchange indicate.

Norway, well represented by Statkraft, has a long tradition for utilizing hydropower. Pictured here is the Oddatjonndammen resevoir.
© Statkraft



The ability to regulate the power production can only be utilized where the environmental consequences are acceptable. We cannot “turn the Norwegian rivers on and off” according to the European demand for power,” Statkraft representative Jon Haaheim states. But with large reservoirs, possible new pump storage plants and flexibility in reservoir management, Norway can supply even more peak power environmentally and cost-effective to the European markets.

In this sense, the reservoirs in the Norwegian power system can be regarded as chargeable batteries that supply Europe with peak power during daytime, and are charged during the night when the power exchange is reversed and the flexible hydropower solution can save water and energy for another day when it is again needed.

This flexibility and effectiveness sets the stage for Statkraft’s continued focus on exceeding European standards with regards to energy requirements. As CEO Mikkelsen says, “The EU has set targets of 20% renewable energy, a 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and 20% energy savings. We wish to contribute solutions in all three areas. More renewable energy, more and new technologies that can help reduce emissions, and we will also gradually do even more in the field of energy optimization.”

The Renewable Energy Corporation Group is well-positioned in the solar energy industry as a company with broad presence covering the entire value chain.
© Damian Heinisch



Wide Range of Activities
Norway’s focus on developing clean, environmentally friendly energy technologies has paid dividends on a global level, and there are a wide range of energy projects being developed that include hydropower plants, wind power, wave power, osmotic power, solar power, as well as bioenergy and biofuels.

Norwegian companies are enjoying success here in this country and beyond, companies that include the Renewable Energy Corporation, that work towards becoming the world’s leading provider of solar energy solutions. Other companies are working with the sun as a well, including Elkem Solar, Norsun and Norsk Solkraft. 

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