As the Minister responsible for renewable energy in Norway, I am pleased to address you in this year’s edition of “Renewable Energy & Environmental Technologies”.
Renewable energy (RE) provides about 18% of the world’s electricity. In the newly published IPCC Special Report on Renewable Energy, it is stated that the global RE capacity grew rapidly in 2009 compared to the cumulative installed capacity from the previous year. According to the report, the global technical potential for RE is substantially higher than global energy demand. These facts clearly underline the important role the future development of renewable energy will have in order to fight climate change and contribute to social and economic development. It is particularly important to better the lives of the 1.4 billion people without access to electricity.
Norway has been truly blessed with plentiful energy resources in most forms. Our oil and gas resources are substantial in a global perspective and have been of great benefit to Norwegian society.
Thanks to our hydropower resources, we have produced renewable and clean hydropower for more than one hundred years, resulting in a share of renewable energy in Norway’s total energy consumption of about 60%. This resulted in a skilled renewable industry at home, which later on became increasingly more international.
In Norway we have ongoing work regarding other renewable energy sources which have the potential to provide additional supply. This includes wind power on- and offshore, osmotic power, solar power and bio energy.
Renewable energy and a clean and efficient use of energy has been an important political topic for a long time in Norway. The Norwegian Government has high ambitions domestically when it comes to energy efficiency and the further development of renewable energy. We will still develop considerable amounts of hydropower, but we also promote other sources of renewable energy as well as energy efficiency and carbon capture and storage (CCS).
Research, development and demonstration are essential elements in bringing down cost. The Government’s research and development budget for renewable energy has increased four-fold between 2007 and 2011.
The Norwegian Government is actively working to facilitate the internationalization of the Norwegian renewable energy industry. Through the private-public partnership INTPOW, we work together with the industry with the aim of promoting our renewable energy competence and industry in international markets.
We believe that arenas where everybody joins forces is a good way to network and share knowledge with the aim of promoting the widespread use of renewable energy.
I hope you will enjoy this issue of Norway Exports and the stories on some of the new exciting developments in our thriving renewable energy sector.
Ola Borten Moe
The Norwegian Minister for Petroleum and Energy