New energy and climate technology in Norway

nsp-24-10-2016

New technology in general, and energy and climate technology in the industry in particular, has been subjects of increased focus for the Norwegian Energy Department and ENOVA in 2015. The goal of the technology projects is to harvest experience that will contribute to expertise development, innovation and spread of the technology – both nationally and internationally. ENOVA’s role is allowing new technologies to be tested in the market, and then the market can determine the winners. The GREBE-Project would follow the development and results of this programme closely.

ENOVA was established in 2001 in order to drive forward the changeover to more environmentally friendly consumption and generation of energy in Norway. ENOVA promote more efficient energy consumption and increased production of ‘new’ renewable energy via targeted programmes and support schemes.  A number of energy and climate and projects received support in 2015.

Technology projects often have relatively modest energy results compared with the support they receive. Untested and immature technology will usually be significantly more expensive than standard solutions. The support need will therefore also be higher than for projects based on well-tested technology. The total, direct energy result for 2015 is thus modest compared with the support of NOK, but these projects are expected to result in long-term ripple effects and positive effects for the climate.

Selection of the 10 largest projects within energy and climate technology 2015:

  • Wave4power AS – Full scale demonstartion of 100kW wave power buoy
  • Agder Energi Vannkraft AS – Small scale power turbine
  • Kildal Kraft AS – Mini power station installed in container
  • Lyse Elnett AS – Grid technology – reduction of grid loss
  • NEL Fuel Norway AS – Energy efficient hydrogen filling station
  • Eidsvik Offshore ASA – Installation of energy system (battery) in supply vessels.
  • Glencore Nikkelverk AS – One-stage electrowinning process
  • Arba Follum AS – Production of bio-gas
  • Tizir Titanum AS – Verification of new furnace technology
  • Posten Norge AS – Low-energy logistics building based on RE

Development and introduction of New energy and climate technology in the market  – in 2015 a total of 54 projects were granted funding commitments from ENOVA.  Overall, this amounted to NOK 1,4 billion.

Climate Agreement in the Storting in 2012 

The development of new energy and climate technology is very important in order to solve the global climate challenges. However, these new technologies must reach the market in order to have the desired impact.

In the Climate Agreement in the Storting in 2012 – the Storting look upon the primary goal of investment in new energy and climate technology as investments that should contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and support the development of restructuring energy end-use and energy production in the long term by developing and utilizing technologies and new solutions – that can contribute to this.

With its capital base and proximity to the market – they saw ENOVA as a instrument to bring technology initatives from the pilot phase and over to market introduction.

From 2012 ENOVA has the responsibility for management of the Energy fund. The Energy fund is the instrument that the Stortinget suggested as a solution for getting ideas and pilot projects on their way to market.

From the pilot phase – to market

The way from the pilot phase to the market – is a critical phase for the projects, where they will demonstrate to the market that the technology functions under normal conditions. This is also a capital intensive phase. When ENOVA awards support to technology projects, this is with the expectation that many of them will be successful, but not all.

Making it through the critical introduction phase is no guarantee for success in the market. Some technologies succeed and gain a foothold which can be built upon. However, for many technologies, the first encounter with the market will reveal a need to test new approaches and concepts, which may entail having to take one or more steps backwards in the innovation chain. Other technologies are weighed and found wanting in the competition with other technological solutions.

The New Climate Economy

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Longyearbyen, Svalbard, Norway

Renewable energy and innovative climate technology would play a key role in the transformation of energy systems from fossil to renewable – due to the report: ‘The New Climate Economy’ from The Global Commission on the Economy and Climate. We are going towards a low emission society that will require changes in energy use, consumption and production patterns.

The report ‘The New Climate Economy’, shows how technological innovation and investments in efficient low emission solutions can create new possibilities for improved economic growth. A main conclusion from the report is that there is often no contradiction between economic growth and climate action. In order to achieve growth, we need to use more renewable energy, and also developing new technological solutions. In the transformation of energy systems from fossil to renewable, innovation and technology development would play a key role.

The change process to a low emission society is demanding, but also creates new growth opportunities. The periphery regions of Europe are well positioned to take part in the development of new energy and climate technology – based on their assets; renewable energy production, environmental knowledge, sustainable technology development focus and climate technology goals.

Technology development

The technology development takes place in a market with players range from major companies with designated development departments to individual enterprises and entrepreneur companies. The large companies are important for driving development, the smaller and creative suppliers often provide new ideas. The key elements for renewable and climate technology development:

  1. Private industry – is the most important driver of technology development. They develop new technology when this is competitive with established solutions. If the private industry companies and business are to invest in innovation – there must be a possibility to make profit and a market hat is willing to pay.
  2. Price level – In the energy market it has always been the price level that come first, then requirements for renewable energy and environmental standards – is this situation about to change?
  3. Recession – Technology development often take place during periods of recessions – the necessity of improving efficiency and innovation is stronger when competition gets tougher during periods with lower demand.
  4. Public support – for development of renewable energy and climate technology has proven to be important. It exists in a range of policy instruments – covering the entire development course from research to demonstration of new technology, and thus ensuring that projects reach the commercialization phase.

Necessary help

It takes time to develop new technological solutions. Without any profitable prospects, there is no basis for technology development. It is important that those with the ability and willingness to take the investment risk, receive the necessary help along the way. The GREBE Project should strengthen the efforts to bring new technology to the market, and ensure the realization of new technology projects – give the necessary help to companies that wants to bring new renewable and climate technology to the market.

The change to renewable energy is on it’s way.