As earlier covered by Nordic Green News, the ongoing election in Norway is highly focused on the climate and how Norway is positioned in the larger frame of environmental efforts. After the UN IPCC report warnings, the contradiction surrounding Norway’s economy is now at the heart of the election discourse.
The Green Party has a clear climate agenda that it says is fully aligned to the climate efforts with a strong stance stating that it will only join a government that commits to an immediate halt to oil and gas exploration. As a result, they are gaining support amongst the voters, where their membership numbers have increased by a third in a few weeks. “It was a game-changer for Norway when that UN report came out. It is now the most important seven days in Norway’s history”, said the Deputy Leader of the Green party, Kriss Rokkan Iversen. She continues by stating that Norway is lacking the same innovative enthusiasm regarding the green agenda as it had in the 1960s for petroleum.
Following suit are two other parties, namely the Socialist Left and the Liberals campaigning on the climate which is showing in their rising polls.
Espen Barth Eide, energy spokesman for the centre-left Labour party agrees about the importance: “This is clearly the climate election, even more than people thought it would be.” But Labour, currently leading in polls, has refused to enter a coalition with parties that insist on stopping exploration or production. This makes the chances of stable coalition formation after the election harder.
Meanwhile, Tina Bru, the Conservative oil and energy minister, is firmly against ending exploration or setting an end date for Norway’s petroleum production, arguing for doing more to cut global demand. She said “We are preparing for a future with less demand for oil and gas, we’re building new green industries, but we won’t get there by hurting our economy, destroying jobs and dismantling an industry.” (Financial Times)
In 2019, the Nordic countries issued a common declaration to make the region carbon neutral. The declaration commits the countries to assess scenarios for how to achieve carbon neutrality, including the implications such scenarios would entail for various sectors. The declaration emphasised the necessity and benefit of collaborative action and invited the Nordic Council of Ministers to prepare a proposal on how to ensure that the Nordic region fulfil its’ part of the Paris Climate Agreement.
According to a new report, over the next decade, the rate of necessary emission reductions needs to happen at a pace five times faster than currently achieved. Three Nordic Clean Energy Scenarios were developed to support this work. These scenarios identified five solution tracks that can deliver carbon neutrality by 2050: direct electrification; PtX; bioenergy; CCS technologies; and behavioural change, and the Nordic Clean Energy Scenarios clearly summarises the 10 top messages.
As a part of the ambitious 2040 targets set in the Nordic countries calling for fossil-free transport solutions, the Nordic Council Committee for Growth and Development in the Nordic Region says that the aviation fuel mix in the Nordic market should contain 5% biofuel. The proposal underlies the possibility of a breakthrough of a fossil free aviation market. Pyry Niemi, the chair of the Committee states that the improvement of mobility as well as the introduction of a requirement of a 5% biofuel ratio in aviation fuels creates a win-win situation for passengers, business, and the climate. Further, he highlights the proposal’s contribution to the Nordic synergy, putting the whole region on the map.
Although the Committee was not unanimous in its recommendation, a consensus was reached merging two earlier proposals from the Centre Group and the Conservative Group. The proposal is to be considered during the session of the Nordic Council in Copenhagen between 1 and 4 November 2021 (press release).
The RecyclableBlade, launched by Siemens Gamesa is an 81-meter long wind turbine blade that can be recycled at the end of its lifecycle by separating materials for use in new applications. It is ready for commercial use where six blades have already been produced in their manufacturing plant in Aalborg, Denmark.
Siemens Gamesa has reached an agreement with Kaskasi offshore wind power plant in Germany to deploy the RecyclableBlade for the first time, projected to be producing energy starting in the year 2022. They have ambitious goals of pushing forward the sustainability agenda and make wind turbines fully recyclable by 2040. “The RecyclableBlade is a great step in that direction [regarding the generation of renewable electricity] and well ahead of our 2040 goal”, said Gregorio Acero, Head of Quality Management & Health, Safety, and Environment at Siemens Gamesa (Siemens Gamesa).
Bladt Industries will supply huge monopiles to Ørsted's two German offshore wind farms. Bladt has previously announced that it will produce the enormous foundations at the Port of Odense, which has invested massively in expanding with a port terminal geared to elements, specifically aimed at the offshore wind turbine industry.
According to Bladt's CEO Anders Søe-Jensen, “The order from Ørsted will mean that we will have to recruit up to 380 employees during the production period.” (Erhverv+)
The companies within Sintef’s applied research organisation brought in 584 million NOK in their first six months, excluding state aid from Innovation Norway and the EU, according to a press release from Sintef. Several companies within their portfolio display a clear focus on being green technology startups such as hydrogen technology companies. (Sintef)
Minesto, the marine energy kite developer has signed a two-year extension on their PPA with the electric utility SEV, for their Vestmannasund site in the Faroe Islands. The PPA was first signed in February 2020 and includes an installed capacity of 2.2 MW of Minesto’s marine energy technology to up-scale the use of tidal power in the energy mix of the Faroe Islands.
Furthermore, a new extension analysis concludes that the installation site can accommodate an additional commercial production facility of up to 4 MW. According to the CEO of Minesto, Martin Edlund, the possibility of scaling up in combination with the current production site in Vestmannasund paves an interesting path for Minesto and ultimately reduces energy costs for their unique product (Tanalys).
Fredrik, Crown Prince of Denmark, and Simon Kollerup, Minister of Economic and Business Affairs in Denmark inaugurated Vattenfall’s new offshore wind park ‘Kriegers Flak’. It is claimed to be Scandinavia’s largest wind park and projected to increase the national wind energy production by 16%.
Kriegers Flak consists of 72 offshore windmills and is situated in the Baltic Sea, 15-40 kilometres off the coast of Denmark. It boasts a production capacity of 604 MW, corresponding to the annual consumption of 600 000 Danish households. Anna Borg, CEO of Vattenfall stated that the inauguration is a strong contribution to the green transition and showcases another step towards their goal of enabling a fossil-free future within just one generation (Vattenfall)
The Swedish Green Party (MP) wants to introduce a ban on the sales of newly produced fossil fuel cars by the year of 2025. The Minister for Environment and Climate Per Bolund states that renewable electricity is deployed speedily in Sweden, as well as being the cheapest alternative. However the phasing out of all fossil-fuelled cars would make it impossible to charge electrical cars with clean electricity throughout Sweden, according to Moderate Party leader, Ulf Kristersson, as this would double the use of electricity during an electricity shortage in the country. (SVT).
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.