NCE - Norways Role for the Transition to Renewables - Observing a National Debate - Christian Kunze


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Presentation at the 17th German Norwegian Energy Forum in Berlin 2013

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NCE - Norways Role for the Transition to Renewables - Observing a National Debate - Christian Kunze

  1. 1. German Norwegian Energy Forum 2013 “Norway´s Role for the Transition  to Renewables – Observing a  National Debate“ by  Christian Kunze, NCE Smart Energy Markets Berlin, 24th of October, 2013
  2. 2. General Direction Statements • Boosting private enterprise through trimming taxes and bureaucracy • USD 17bn fund to improve transport and communications infrastructure • Oil wealth to be turned towards investment in knowledge and infrastructure • Growth‐enhancing tax cuts • Support of sustainable companies and projects in developing countries and emerging markets – likelihood that more that 14 percent of annual proceeds from the oil fund will be spent • Investment in renewable energy, also from Norfund, under consideration
  3. 3. International Energy Policy Aspects • Credits to outgoing government by many observers Former government has strived to position Norway as a leader in the international climate policy field, through large financial contributions and an active role in the UN climate negotiations. Prime Minister Stoltenberg served as chair of the UN Secretary‐General’s High‐Level Panel on Climate Finance in 2010, and Norway is currently a member of the board of the Green Climate Fund. • Potentially Unchanged Direction It is expected that Norway’s commitment and approach to actively influence international climate policy will remain largely unchanged – despite a change to the right, the incoming coalition supported in general the same climate policy measures as the outgoing government The main pillars of Norwegian climate policy are therefore not likely to be affected by the change in government: Emission reduction targets for 2020 will be kept, Norway will still ratify the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, and climate cash for tropical forests will continue to flow.
  4. 4. Climate Policy Aspects • “Norway Paradox” Despite the aforementioned contributions, some journalists observe a “Norway paradox” – on the one hand, a major oil‐producer with relatively high per capita emissions when compared to other European countries. On the other, a country perceived to be a leader in international climate policy, pledging billions of dollars to reduce deforestation in developing countries (REDD+) and taking on high‐profile roles in UN bodies. • National Climate Policy The government intends to implement an ambitious national climate policy with a long‐term transition into a low carbon economy until 2050. In addition, a new «green tax commission» is set‐up in order to develop proposals for a shift to green taxes in order to support the climate protection ambitions. • International Climate Policy Intention to continue the activities in the role as driver for the setting of an international CO2 price and effective, working international carbon markets. Furthermore, the strengthening of the EU carbon scheme will be supported.
  5. 5. National Energy & Climate Policy  • National Continuation of “Balancing Act” Regardless of the international role, in domestic policy, climate change mitigation is a highly contested issue, frequently clashing with industry demands for expanding oil exploration and increasing the use of natural gas. Initial statements to “seek to facilitate increased use of gas in Norwegian industry with the aim of replacing oil and liquefied petroleum gas, which provide a better export return, encouraging investment and also improving the power supply to areas far from hydroelectric plants.” Implications for reforms in the Norwegian gas sector? • Boost of Renewable Supply To boost the supply, the coalition parties promised to increase output from renewables, and to speed up licensing of domestic power cables needed to connect wind farms. The country already meets about 95 percent of its own needs from hydropower, but generates less power from wind than its Nordic neighbours. • Certificate System Intention to evaluate adjustments with regards to the electricity certificates.
  6. 6. European Integration of the Norwegian Electricity  Industry  • Ownership and Operation of Interconnectors The two parties said they would change the energy law to allow groups other than the state‐owned Statnett to own and operate power interconnectors between Norway and the rest of Europe. This is a change compared to the previous government that said Statnett should have a monopoly on interconnections. • The policy change could help to revive plans by a group of companies including Norwegian utilities Agder Energi and Lyse to build a link to Britain. However, the NorthConnect project has already suffered a setback with the withdrawal of its British partner, the power utility SSE. • While promising more competition in cable building, the coalition parties said they would "ensure a good balance between the development of new generation (capacities) and new interconnectors."
  7. 7. Conclusion • There are many position statements published by the new government, but the “fine tuning” is yet to follow and then the national debate might start. • On a national level, additional support for the implementation and growth of renewable energy is expected to be implemented. • There is no indication that Norway will step out of its leading role in supporting the transition to green energy internationally by active participation in high level international political functions.
  8. 8. A Network for  Smart Companies