The Norwegian government has published its Report to the Storting (white paper) Putting Energy to Work, exploring the long-term value creation from Norwegian energy resources. The white paper sets out how Norway can use its energy resources to create continued economic growth and new jobs.
Norway’s position as an energy nation will be further developed through new initiatives encompassing hydrogen, offshore wind, strengthening of the power grid and a low emissions oil and gas sector. The White Paper further expands on the government’s comprehensive climate action plan and demonstrates how renewable energy and the power grid are laying the foundations for electrification and the phasing out of fossil-fuel based energy.
“I am proud to present the government’s plan for job and value creation based on our energy resources. The green transition is happening right now. We see concrete plans for new enteprises based on renewables, such as battery plants and hydrogen production. We will facilitate more profitable production of renewable energy, and bolster our power grid,” says Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Tina Bru.
“Offshore wind represents an industrial opportunity for Norway and may form an important part of the next chapter in our history as an energy nation. We are now taking significant steps to facilitate offshore wind power – both floating installations, as well as bottom-fixed ones,” Bru adds.
The government wants Norwegian energy resources to form the basis for more jobs and prosperity in society. Thus, the white paper has been titled Putting Energy to Work.
“Following the pandemic, we want to speed up the economic activity. To do so, we need more profitable jobs. We must capitalise on the vast opportunities our energy resources offer. The electrification strategy presented in the White Paper provides a framework for making Norway greener and better. The White Paper also presents a roadmap for hydrogen, featuring specific ambitions for maritime hubs, industrial production, and multiple pilot projects to develop new and more cost-efficient solutions and technologies in Norway. Together with the government’s comprehensive climate action plan, the White Paper demonstrates that it is possible to cut emissions while maintaining economic activity,” says Prime Minister Erna Solberg.
The oil and gas industry currently faces major challenges as a result of maturing fields on the Norwegian continental shelf and increasing demands for lower emissions. The petroleum sector will remain a significant factor in the Norwegian economy in the years to come, although not on the same scale as today. The government will facilitate long-term economic growth in the petroleum industry within the framework of its climate policy and commitments under the Paris Agreement.
“We must prepare for the fact that the petroleum industry will not remain the same driving force in our economy as previously. We will facilitate a future-oriented Norwegian oil and gas industry capable of delivering production with low emissions within the framework of our climate policy. Retaining expertise and technologies in the oil and gas sector is also vital for the development of new industries and technologies such as carbon capture and storage, offshore wind and hydrogen. The main goal of the government’s petroleum policy – to facilitate profitable production in the oil and gas industry in a long-term perspective – is firmly in place,” says Tina Bru.
The White Paper outlines four goals for long-term economic growth as a result of Norwegian energy resources:
Economic growth that creates jobs in Norway
To the greatest extent possible, the government wants Norway’s renewable energy resources to be put to use in Norway. Both power generation itself and the use of power in industry and businesses create significant economic growth and jobs. The White Paper also examines the opportunities for energy production at sea, as well as hydrogen and carbon capture and storage. These are all examples of new industries that benefit from the expertise and technologies already present in the well-established power sector and the oil and gas sector.
Using electrification for making Norway a greener and better country
Stable access to renewable power has been the very foundation of large parts of Norwegian industry. It is also a prerequisite for new economic growth and job creation. In order to continue from this excellent starting point, further power and grid development is required. This must be weighed up against considerations relating to limiting damage to nature. In its White Paper, the government presents a strategy for smart and effective electrification. The strategy comprises measures that will contribute to balanced development of power supplies in both the short- and long-term.
Establishment of new, profitable industries
Norwegian energy resources form the basis for new industries that will help transition Norway to a low-emission society. Examples of these new industries include the production and use of hydrogen, offshore wind power, carbon capture and storage, as well as battery production and other activities where access to renewable energy offers a competitive advantage. The government will facilitate the development and establishment of new, profitable industrial businesses based on efficient and predictable framework conditions.
The further development of a future-oriented oil and gas sector within the framework of the climate change goals
The petroleum industry currently faces major challenges as a result of maturing fields on the Norwegian continental shelf and increasing demands for lower emissions. The government will contribute to the development of the Norwegian continental shelf through pursuing a petroleum policy that facilitates profitable production of oil and gas in a long-term perspective within the framework of Norway’s climate change policy and our climate goals. In order to achieve this, the government will provide and maintain stable and predictable framework conditions, allow for exploration, and actively contribute to research and development that ensures good resource utilisation and lower greenhouse gas emissions as a result of production taking place on the Norwegian continental shelf.
The government will continue to pursue its exploration policy with regular concession rounds to ensure that new areas for exploration are made available to the industry. The government will continue its acquisition of knowledge through the continued survey of petroleum resources, including in those areas that are not open to petroleum operations. This will provide a basis for jobs and activities nationwide going forward. The government believes it is particularly important that expertise in the petroleum industry is retained and utilised in other industries.