The Region of Flanders and Norway join forces in the energy transition

Source: press release, 17 March 2022

At left, Jan Jambon, Minister-President of the Government of Flanders, with Terje Aasland, Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy (photo: DEP)

On March 17, Minister-President of the Government of Flanders, Jan Jambon met with the Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Terje Aasland, in Oslo.

The ministers discussed the current unprecedented crisis in Europe and in the energy market after the Russian invasion of Ukraine. A number of measures are needed to reduce the dependence on Russian energy supplies. Norway can make an important contribution to the current situation in the energy market by maintaining the current high production of oil and gas and continued high regularity throughout the gas supply chain.

In addition, a sustained focus on energy savings and an accelerated rollout of renewable energy is necessary. Both Flanders and Norway have high ambitions for the realisation of offshore wind energy.

The energy crisis is reinforcing the need for the energy transition, which can only be realised through close European cooperation. Flanders and Norway aim to continue working constructively on the roll-out of various low-carbon technologies and want to play a pioneering role in Europe. Both ministers see the application of carbon capture storage as part of the climate solution- especially for energy-intensive industries- and want to continue the existing good cooperation in the North Sea Basin Task Force. In addition, they aspire to conclude a bilateral agreement within the framework of the London protocol before the end of the year, so that CO2 transport between Flanders and Norway can soon be a reality.

Finally, Flanders and Norway share the same ambitions when it comes to hydrogen. If produced in a sustainable way, hydrogen has a great future, especially in energy-intensive industry and heavy-duty transport. Flanders and Norway will share knowledge about the different low-carbon hydrogen forms, with a view to implementing various joint projects. One such project is “H2BE” where Equinor, Engie and Fluxys are looking into the possibility of realising a 1-gigawatt low-carbon hydrogen production facility in the Ghent port area in Flanders.