Ola Borten Moe and Connie Hedegaard discuss renewable energy at Technoport Talks

“How can Norway play a role in a renewable energy Europe?”  This was the topic discussed  at Technoport Talks earlier this summer. At the panel debate, the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy, Ola Borten Moe, met with EU Commissioner on Climate Action, Connie Hedegaard. Borten Moe stated that the EU should stop subsidizing renewable energy.

During the panel debate between the two, and Professor Asgeir Tomasgard, Director at Centre for Sustainable Energy Studies,  Borten Moe claimed that the EU should not subsidize renewable energy, and rather use public money to develop new technology, like carbon capture and storage technology. This controversial statement was then published in several Norwegian newspapers, and criticized by many. The problem today is not the subsidizing of renewables, but the subsidizing of fossil fuels, some of the critics argued. Hedegaard also pointed out that the subsidization of fossil fuels can be problematic. “Every time the world is spending 1 dollar subsidizing renewables, we are spending 7 dollars subsidizing fossil fuels”, Hedegaard said. Watch the panel debate bellow:

The background for the panel debate was this question: How can Norway play a role in a renewable energy Europe? The EU has high ambitions on energy and climate change. The EU wants to increase the share of renewable energy to 20 % by 2020. However, due to the variability of wind and solar power, there will be variations in power generation, and the EU therefore needs more balancing capacity to ensure a stable and reliable power supply. Norway with its hydropower and natural gas can play a role here.

Click here to hear our speakers from research and industry talk about Norway’s role in the EU’s energy mix.

The topic, “Norway’s role in a renewable energy Europe”, is  highly discussed nowadays. In Oslo, there will be a mini-conference (25 September) on this.

However, what is the popular view on Norway as a “green battery” to Europe? If you haven’t already –  do read Henrik Karlstrøm’s guest blog post on the subject. Henrik is presenting new research on people in Norway’s view on the subject.