Norway and the North Sea Grid

Key Positions and Players in Norway, from a Norwegian Perspective, SEFEP staff: Raffaele Piria, January 2012

With its vast hydropower and wind resources, Norway has the potential for playing a major role in greening the European power system by developing its large potential for additional power storage capacities as well as for additional renewable generation.

However, the Norwegian energy agenda is in many ways diametrically opposite to Europe’s. Norway is not characterized by energy scarcity but by energy abundance, nor are primary concerns about security of supply, but about access to export markets – foremost for oil and gas, and only secondarily for electricity.

This report explores the viewpoints of Norwegian actors and interests, seeking to assess Norwegian readiness to fully engage with the North Sea Countries Offshore Grid Initiative, focusing mainly on interconnections as key mean to unlock storage potential. In a first part, the report looks at the existing and potential resources, and summarizes the long history of debates about power system interconnection from the 1920s until today. In the second part, this report analyses the current state of discussion, considering the position of the main actors and the arguments used in the discussion from a Norwegian perspective. In its concluding section, some considerations on the future framing of this debate in Norway are presented.

This report is a side product of a broader analysis of the politics of the North Sea Offshore Grid with the intention of facilitating the overcoming of political barriers to the deployment of offshore wind and of interconnection cables in the North Sea region. Contact: Raffaele Piria (email, website).

Document Actions