Norway could be first ‘fully electrified society’

Posted on 11 Sep 2017 and read 332 times
Norway could be first ‘fully electrified society’ Norway has the renewable resources and political will to become the world’s first country to use entirely clean electricity for its power demands, according to a new report by Energi Norge — a non-profit industry group representing Norwegian electricity companies.

Oluf Ulseth (pictured), who is head of the group, said: “Based on hydro power and better collaboration between businesses and the authorities, our target is for Norway to become the world’s first fully electric society by 2050.”

Norway recently announced that the sale of combustion engine cars will be phased out by 2025, a move that has been replicated to some degree in other European countries like France and the UK.

Norway wants to increase the number of electric cars on its roads (the number already exceeds 100,000), and the government has introduced policies to help achieve this (including tax exemption for leased e-cars and allowing owners of these vehicles to use bus lanes, toll roads and ferries free of charge).

Electric-car sales represented 22% of the country’s market in 2015, and that number is expected to grow to 30% by the end of next year.

However, Energi Norge says that converting Norway’s fleet of vehicles will need “considerable effort within the transport industry”.

“Norway has set itself ambitious targets under the European Clean Power for Transport directive, which calls for an “appropriate number of publicly accessible charging points”.

Oslo says it hopes to have one point for every 10 cars, so it will need around 25,000 by 2020.

E-mobility efforts are often criticised by ‘green’ campaigners because the carbon footprint is ultimately linked to whatever the power source is at the other end of the charging cable.

However, more than 96% of Norway’s electricity demand is currently met by hydro power, with another 2% coming from other renewables (three natural-gas power plants make up the remaining portion of the energy mix).

Mr Ulseth added that the conversion to electricity would boost the job market and innovation, and the process would “enable us to take a leading role in climate work while improving our competitiveness”.

Norway’s electrification is also set to benefit its closest EU neighbours, Denmark and Sweden, as the Nordic countries’ grids have long been connected.

Moreover, the Norwegian grid will soon be connected to the UK and Germany too, as a number of inter-connector projects are currently at different stages of development.

NordLink, which will connect Norway and Germany via a 500km-long sub-sea cable, is due to come on-line in 2019, while the North Sea Link with the UK is scheduled to be completed in 2021.

There are also plans to link up with Scotland, under the NorthConnect project.

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