On 29 May 2020, the Norwegian government put forward a “Green transition package” of NOK 3.6 billion (+/- R6452197200.00). The investment objective is to underpin the green transition and use this as the motor of accelerating out of the Covid-19 impacts on energy and industry. Solutions such as hydrogen, building renovation, batteries, offshore wind, circular economy, green shipping and other forms of green energy are mentioned specifically.
Funding will be provided through public and public-private mechanisms whereof the bulk will focus on supporting medium to high TRL activities supporting industrial competitiveness in emerging solutions. Following the announcement, a hydrogen strategy was launched. Norway is following suit of many other European countries which are also looking into the hydrogen economy benefits, being a true cross-sectorial enabler and key for reaching net-zero GHG emissions by mid-century.
“Norway’s investment into hydrogen and other green technologies is a good start, but more needs to be done. Urgently,” says Nils Røkke, Chairman of the Board of the European Energy Research Alliance (EERA) and Executive Vice President Sustainability SINTEF Energy, one of Europe’s largest independent research organizations.
“Pilots and demo activities are highlighted, but we need to scale initiatives to create change. The hydrogen economy is crucial for Europe and Norway to reach ambitious energy and climate goals. We must dare to invest and take a bet on hydrogen now.”
Implementing a hydrogen economy would decarbonize the economy and significantly improve Europe’s ability to reach climate goals. When used, hydrogen only emits water. But for hydrogen to be a low or emission-free energy carrier, it must be produced with no or low emissions, for example by electrolysis using renewable power or from natural gas with CO2 capture, transport and storage (CCS). Hydrogen can also support the phase-in of less controllable renewable power and become the preferred option for storing large amounts of energy over longer periods.
“Hydrogen has exciting opportunities in store for Norway, both as an energy and a technology nation. We must seize the opportunity to support the transition towards an emission-free Europe,” says Røkke.
SINTEF is one of Europe’s largest independent research organizations. SINTEF is a broad, multidisciplinary research organization with international top-level expertise in the fields of technology, the natural sciences, medicine and the social sciences. We conduct contract R&D as a partner for the private and public sectors, and we are one of the largest contract research institutions in Europe.