Norway faces major challenges in fulfilling the country's climate targets while creating new industrial jobs. The task is extra demanding as our most important industry, the offshore oil and gas industry, is the largest contributor to CO₂ emissions. One way of decarbonizing the offshore oil and gas industry is substituting the power generated by gas turbines with electrical cables from onshore. The question is whether this is the right use of onshore electrical power as long as it is considered a scarce resource for new onshore green industry development.
The latest energy white paper from The Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE Report 36. 2020-2021) states that it is possible to realise large industrial projects at the same time as we meet our climate commitments. However, these industrial projects and plans will require large supplies of electric power. Electrification of offshore oil and gas, construction of battery factories, roll-out of charging stations for electric cars, and the production of hydrogen are just some examples.
In a recent news article (Norwegian text), the question if the electrification of offshore oil and gas production reduced the possibilities for the new green industrial projects onshore, was raised. Although the latest public prognoses of the Norwegian power supply from The Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate shows a power surplus, there are regional challenges in Norway that need to be solved, and where prioritization of electrical power supply is a key topic.
At ZEG, we have developed a technology that produces clean hydrogen with integrated carbon capture. Our main input is natural gas, but our plant, which now is under construction and will be located at CCB Energy Park, Kollsnes, outside Bergen, is also relying on stable supply of electric power. The Bergen region is one of the regions where electrical power is creating challenges.
We are convinced that Norwegian politicians will do their outmost to secure the power supply required to ensure the transformation of our offshore oil and gas industry as well as growth in new green industrial projects. Short term, however, it will be critical to prioritize new green industry development onshore, in order to create the industry for the future.
Clean hydrogen is defined as an important part of the solution if the world is to reach the climate goals of the Paris agreement. We at ZEG Power are proud to do our part.