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Norway

Official Name:
Kingdom of Norway

Energy profile

Norway (2013)

Type: 
Energy profile
Energy profile
Extent of network

The Norwegian transmission and distribution grid consists of over-head lines, underground and submarine cables that extend for roughly 300,000 km. The grid is divided into three levels: the central grid (transmission), the regional grid and the distribution grid.At the highest level is the central grid, which is mainly owned and maintained by Statnett. This network has a large transmission capacity with two important objectives:It connects all consumers to a domestic transmission grid spanning from the very North to the very South of Norway.It connects Norway to surrounding countries to exchange power when there is a lack or a surplus in Norway.

Renewable energy potential

SolarThe solar energy that hits the earth every year is estimated to be more than 10,000 times the energy consumption. In Norway this value is about 1,500 times the energy consumption. Typical solar irradiance in Norway is 700 – 900 kWh/m²/year.Wind EnergyWhile Norway´s offshore wind potential is only surpassed by Portugal and the country enjoys the best onshore potential in Europe the market is developing only slowly after the introduction of the green certificates in 2012. Towards, 2025, public research have estimated a potential wind development of 5.8 GW (17,4 TWh) to 7.1 GW (21,5 TWh). Grid capacity is a limiting factor.At the end of 2011, Norway had installed 512 MW of wind turbines at 18 sites producing ca. 1 GWh and 0, 7 % of the country’s total generation. The Ministry of Petroleum and Energy is together with NVE currently researching the consequences of building offshore wind. The 15 potential Norwegian offshore wind fields could produce 18 to 44 TWh yearly.BiomassForest biomass is the major source of bioenergy in Norway, followed by waste used in district heating.  Forests cover 12 million ha, which is 37% of the land area, with a growing stock of 910 million m3. From and annual growth of about 25 million m3, less than half (44%) is harvested annually. The standing stock and annual increment have been increasing the last 70 years. The most important biomass resources in Norway are firewood, wood chips, logging residues, thinning residues and stumps from clear cuttings. Forest biomass has an estimated sustainable potential for bioenergy production between 86 and 108 PJ.  The sustainable potential of biomass for energy production is estimated between 117 and 140 PJ.BiogasProduction of liquid biofuel based on domestic raw materials from agricultural or forestry areas in Norway is still very modest. However, this could change over time. Norway is in a good position for producing large amounts of biodiesel from animal and fish residues. The maximum potential of 162 kt biodiesel from used animal fat in Norway is 35 kg per inhabitant.HydroHydroelectricity, due to elevated high lakes and heavy rain and snowfall, has been the dominant source of electricity production ever since the Norwegians started to produce electricity. Today hydroelectric production accounts for 99% of total electricity production, and Norway has traditionally been a net exporter of electricity. The most prominent example is the attempt by civil protesters to block the construction of a hydropower dam in the Altavassdraget drainage basin in the northernmost part of the country in the 1970s. Despite such protests, though, exploitation of hydrological resources continued throughout the 1980s and the 1990s, which contributed to the maintenance of a stable electricity balance and a general situation of electricity surplus.

Energy framework

Through negotiations with the EU, Norway has pledged that 67.5% of its energy consumption will come from renewable energy by 2020 (compared with 62% in 2010). Even though Norway is not an EU member state, the country participates in the EU Emission Trading System (EU ETS). It is believed that Norway may play an important role in reducing emissions abroad by exporting renewable energy, but also by offering reductions from carbon capture solutions as they mature sufficiently.The overall target of the Norwegian energy and climate policy is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30% (compared with 1990) by 2020 and to be carbon-neutral in 2050 (taking into account the country’s contribution to emission reductions abroad).Norwegian-Swedish Green Certifícate SchemeNorway has chosen to cooperate on meeting their renewable energy targets in a common green certificates scheme, introducing the certificate scheme in 2012. As it is a common scheme shared with Sweden, any certificates issued in Sweden may be surrendered in Norway and vice versa. This mechanism ensures that the renewable energy installations will be deployed where it is most cost efficient to do so, independent of whether the location is in Norway or Sweden.The Energy FundThe Energy Fund is a government fund established to ensure a long-term, predictable and stable source of finance for the strategy on energy efficiency and the promotion of renewable energy.  The state enterprise Enova manages the Energy Fund.Norway has adopted a strategy for development of offshore wind power and is planning to expand hydropower production by utilizing previously untapped hydropower potentials and by refurbishing some older hydropower installations for increased effect. For instance, a new treaty with Sweden on green certificates aims at subsidizing 26.4 TWh of renewable production between the two countries.

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