Clean Energy the Focus of Huge Oil Producing Country Norway

Norway is now making waves when it comes to clean energy despite being a big player in fossil fuels. With hydropower a crucial part of the mix of clean energy sources, 98 percent of its “electricity production” comes from renewable sources, the Norwegian government has said.

Norway is home to an abundance of natural resources and is traditionally known as an oil producer. The Scandinavian country is the third largest producer of gas, meeting more than 20 percent of the European Union’s gas demands and is the eighth largest producer of oil in the world according to the Norwegian government.

Norway ranked 15th when it came to the total production of “petroleum and other liquids”, states the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

However as Norway looks to set an example for others and lead the way to a cleaner planet, ambitious targets have now been made by the government. Compared to 1990 levels, the government has drawn out plans to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions by “at least” 40 percent by 2030.

Electric vehicles are also becoming popular as people there are embracing them. According to information provider HIS, Norway registered 11,124 pure electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles in the first three months of 2016 only.

“It is important that highly industrialized countries in the western world really act as front runners, otherwise it will be very hard to mobilize the less developed economies and the developing economies that will represent an increasing part of global energy consumption in the few years ahead,” Christer Gilje, from state-owned power firm Statnett, told CNBC’s Sustainable Energy.

150 stations and around 11,000 kilometers of power lines is operated by Statnett operates across Norway.

“For Norway, it has been important to not only talk as, but also act as, a front-runner when it comes to climate action,” Gilje added.

There is ample opportunity and possibility of Norway exporting renewable power to other countries since the country is blessed with its natural resources which has led Norway to produce more renewable energy than it consumes, says Gilje.

Work was being done to provide more countries with Norway’s clean energy, said the CEO of renewables producer Agder Energi, Tom Nysted. “We are now building two new interconnectors from Norway, to the U.K. and Germany,” he said.

Electric vehicles would help to play a “significant role in reducing CO2 emissions from transportation” as long as a vehicle was charged using a renewable source such as hydropower, said Statnett’s Gilje with regards to the rise in electric vehicles in Norway.

Just one part of a wider transformation in Europe is represented by Norway. According to the European Commission, Europe as a while needs to “fulfil at least 20 percent of its total energy needs with renewables by 2020” according to the demands of the Renewable Energy Directive.

Countries in northern Europe are becoming “quite advanced in energy efficiency and renewable energy, because they have established frameworks … that are conducive to adopting energy efficient behaviors and installing renewable energy capacity” says Jacquelin Ligot, an expert in sustainable energy and climate finance.

(Adapted from CNBC)

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