Solberg’s last state budget is facing criticism in Norway for the Government’s lack of will to reach the 2030 climate goals. In an analysis conducted by the Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise (NHO), competing EU-countries are showing a faster pace than Norway in their green transition. The state budget also disclosed a calculation error which shows that the government underestimated Norwegian emissions, which when adjusted for results in seemingly unreachable 2030 targets. According to Ole Erik Almlid, Director General of NHO, “the proposed state budget was a step in the right direction, but measures directed at supporting the green restructuring of businesses as well as increased investments in batteries, hydrogen and offshore are needed.” This sentiment is echoed by Karoline Andaur, CEO of WWF, referring to the meagre investments (NOK 5 billion) in green restructuring in comparison to 2020’s oil stimulus package (NOK 30 billion). Additionally, the state budget lacks any plans for developing offshore wind or green hydrogen in Norway, she continues. But the newly formed Labour Government in Norway is expected to contribute with larger ambitions to develop green value chains that align with the 2030 goals, according to Anniken Hauglie, the Director General of the Norwegian Oil and Gas Association (Press release, E24, Cnytt, Fjordabladet).
RISE is targeting Örnsköldsvik for its new test facility for accelerating the new products from Sweden’s bioeconomy. The test facility, planned to be commissioned in autumn 2022, is built in proximity to existing infrastructure and research facilities in Örnsköldsvik, and accommodates laboratories, office spaces and testing equipment to offer a dynamic innovation environment for companies, researchers, and entrepreneurs. Ultimately, the goal is to support promising development initiatives that contribute to Sweden’s green transition. Funding was provided by a new financial contribution to RISE from the government’s autumn budget. In addition to the investment in Örnsköldsvik’s infrastructure, investments in several Swedish cities will also be made: Piteå, Uppsala, Stockholm, Södertälje, Kristinehamn and Gothenburg (Press release).
FREYR has announced a 50/50 joint venture with Koch Strategic Platforms to develop clean battery cell production in the United States. The joint venture has entered a strategic licencing agreement with US-based 24M Technologies by investing $70 million in their company. They will evaluate a development of an initial annual capacity of 50 GWh in the US by 2030, building on FREYR’s strategy to develop battery cell production capacity by leveraging renewable energy. Additionally, in collaboration with 24M’s SemiSolid technology, they aim to simplify production processes and enable capital efficient manufacturing (Press release).
Elkem has worked on a climate strategy to reach its 2050 goals and has now concretised the plans with actions set for the coming 10 years, according to Helge Aasen, the CEO of Elkem. Elkem’s plan will reduce its direct carbon emissions by 1 million tonnes from 2020 to 2031 using an increased share of biomass and renewable energy, by;
Last year, Elkem announced the plan to build a biocarbon pilot plant in Canada where recycled organic materials will be used in the production of silicon and ferrosilicon. Ultimately, the company is eyeing a net-zero target at their smelting plants by 2050 (E24, Press release).
Reliance Industries, the Indian oil- and gas company has partnered with Denmark’s Stiesdal to develop and manufacture hydrogen electrolysers. By using Stiesdal’s HydroGen Electrolysers technology, the aim is to bring down the cost of production of electrolysers, ultimately reducing the price of green hydrogen. The partnership also includes collaboration in the development and implementation of offshore wind energy installations and fuel cells for hydrogen-to-electricity conversion (CTwatch, Money control)
Vattenfall has decided on an immediate prohibition on dumping of worn-out wind turbine blades following an ambitious recycling goal for managing the turbine blades. Although legislation enables the dumping, Vattenfall will also increase the percentage of recycling from the wind turbine blades from 50% in 2025 to 100% by 2030 (Press release).
Vestas has launched a circularity road map describing commitments throughout its value chain to accelerate reaching zero-waste wind turbines by 2040. The company has increased last year’s ambitions in committing to increase material efficiency by 90%, achieving 100% recyclability of the rotors, and reducing waste across their supply chain by 50% – all by 2030, writes Vestas. “To remove waste from the turbine's life-cycle depends on building a completely circular value chain”, says Lisa Ekstrand, Head of Sustainability at Vestas (Press release).
The Nordic countries are some of the most dynamic and successful economies in the world. They are also leaders in sustainability, from renewable energy, biofuels, carbon capture and storage and the hydrogen economy, circular economy business models and battery development, the Nordics are pioneers in policy design, technology development and consumer uptake. Mundus Nordic Green News is covering this transition for the international community. Every day we clip the stories of most relevance to international businesspeople and policy experts from the flow of news. Mundus Nordic Green Indices summarise the meta-data from our daily coverage to enable easy tracking of trends. We supplement these with our own opinion pieces and commentary.