Challenging the Path Dependence of Dominant Energy Systems
Edited by William M. Lafferty and Audun Ruud
Chapter 9: Norway: Trying to Maintain Maximal RES-E in a Petroleum-Driven Economy
9. Norway: trying to maintain maximal RES-E in a petroleumdriven economy Jørgen Knudsen, Olav Mosvold Larsen and Audun Ruud INTRODUCTION Norway is endowed with abundant energy resources that have been intensively exploited for decades. As one of the world’s leading producers of hydropower, Norway normally derives more than 90 per cent of its total national electricity consumption from hydro resources. Norway has, however, also become a major producer of oil and natural gas. In 2006 Norway was the third-largest exporter of crude oil in the world, and supplied Europe with about 15 per cent of its total natural-gas supply. In this regard, Norway has increasingly become a ‘petroleum-driven economy’. It is at the juncture of these two national energy traits – hydropower and petroleum – that an analysis of governance for renewable electricity (RES-E) must be conducted. One of the major trends aﬀecting RES-E in Norway is the relationship between hydropower generation and the overall consumption of electricity. By all indications the former has reached a deﬁnite limit, while the latter continues to increase. There is, therefore, considerable concern as to the security of national electricity supply in Norway. A phasing in of ‘new’ RES-E production can in this context be viewed as one of ﬁve alternative energy options currently being discussed in the national political discourse (Box 9.1). Further expansion of large hydropower installations is no longer politically viable. In addition to a promotion of new RES-E as a direct supplement to large-scale hydropower (option 1), an increasingly...
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