Energy & Climate Change | The Norwegian Government publishes its policy plan for energy industries
Prime Minister Erna Solberg and Minister of Petroleum and Energy Tina Bru presenting the report “Energy to work” (Energi til arbeid Meld. St. 36 (2020-2021) in Oslo on June 11, 2021.
The report presents the Government’s policies for both the petroleum and other energy sectors. Among the important topics covered is the electrification of oil and gas installations, improvement and strengthening of the electrical grid on shore, and the policies for forward-looking industries such as offshore wind power, carbon capture and storage, and exploitation of minerals on the seabed. A roadmap for hydrogen is also presented. The report is one of the most important policy documents in the last decades for the energy sector, with implications well beyond the energy sector as such.
Together with the report, the awaited guidelines for the award of offshore wind concessions are presented. The guidelines provide for award by an auction process for bottom fixed installations in the area Sørlige Nordsjø II, while floating installations in the Utsira Nord Area will be awarded based on qualitative criteria.
The plan and the guidelines will, no doubt, trigger a broad debate in Norway, and set the scene for a discussion of the long-term framework for Norwegian energy policy in the years to come and how to meet Norway’s climate targets.
It is not anticipated that the plan will be discussed in Parliament before the summer, and hence the discussion will most likely come after the Parliamentary elections in September. The offshore wind guidelines will be sent for public consultation until 20 August 2021, and the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum anticipates that the guidelines may be approved some time after the public consultation period has ended.
We look forward to following the debate closely in the time to come.