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The industry can strengthen the German-Norwegian collaboration  

On Tuesday 20 September, representatives from politics, industry and business from Norway and Germany gathered for a joint Norwegian-German energy dialogue at the Ekeberg restaurant in Oslo. Photo: Norsk-Tysk Handelskammer.
By Linea Bancel|Published 27 September 2022|Category: News

The cooperation between Germany and Norway offers great potential for the industry. Minister Jan Christian Vestre asks the private sector to take leadership. 

Last Tuesday, Head of Business Development Daniel Miravalles attended the German-Norwegian Energy Dialogue 2022, with representatives from politics, industry, and finance. Members of Energy Valley were also present, such as DNV, Equinor, Aker Horizons, Aker Offshore Wind, ZEG Power, and H2Carrier. 

Here they gathered for a discussion on how Germany and Norway can collaborate more tightly on the issues of energy security and the green transition.  

– Germany is bleeding  

 Christian Maaß, department manager of The Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Action, and foreign policy adviser Toralf Pilz addressed the energy situation in Germany.  

Maaß said that Germany must save at least 20 percent gas this winter, but to reach this goal, restrictions and actions are needed. Prohibiting the heating of swimming pools and turning off lights in public buildings, is already in motion.  

The foreign policy advisor Toralf Pilz also clearly stated, “Germany is bleeding. This year we will probably lose 130 million euros due to higher gas prices”.  

A reliable energy supplier   

Norway is facing many of the same challenges due to the energy crisis. Germany’s ambassador to Norway Detlef Wächter expressed great gratitude for the support Germany is receiving from Norway.   

In a European context, Norway wants to show itself even more as a reliable energy supplier, explained Kristin Mysjka, Director General, Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy. 

Over 40 percent of Norway’s gas exports now go to Germany. At the same time, Norway wants to establish itself as a supplier of electricity and hydrogen from renewable sources. 

Need to establish a hydrogen market  

Both Director General of the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy Kristin Myskja and Head of Hydro Havrand Per Christian Eriksen pointed to the need of creating a market design infrastructure for hydrogen.  

“What does it take to establish a hydrogen market in Europe?” asked Eriksen and pointed to three things that need to be done: 

  1. A clear framework 
  1. Clear ambitions (there are in the EU, but not in Norway) 
  1. Key support mechanisms 
Carbon capture and storage 

Was also on the agenda: Norway wants to store CO2 from European industry on the Norwegian continental shelf. Germany accounts for over 20 percent of the EU’s CO2 emissions and will play a major role here.  

Norway’s ambassador to Germany, Torgeir Larsen, also emphasized the importance of long-term and sustainable industrial and energy cooperation between the countries.  

The Longship Project is an example of this. Longship, the Norwegian Government’s full-scale carbon capture and storage project, will be the first ever cross-border, open-source CO2 transport and storage infrastructure network and offers companies across Europe the opportunity to store their CO2 safely and permanently underground. 

Connecting the markets  

Minister of Trade and Industry Jan Christian Vestre. Photo: Norsk-Tysk Handelskammer.

Also present at the event was Minister of Trade and Industry Jan Christian Vestre, who in similarity to the ambassadors from both countries, emphasized the close links between the countries that have already existed for decades.  

Vestre mentioned seven core sectors where Norway has every chance to succeed. Offshore wind, CCSU, hydrogen, and batteries were some of these. 

Further development of this cooperation offers excellent potential for both countries. In addition to energy agreements and projects, the Minister of Trade and Industry envisages several opportunities for cooperation between Norwegian battery manufacturers and the German car industry. Regarding the green shift, he said that: 

“In politics, we work to create good framework conditions. But the private sector has to step in and take the lead.”   

The industry needs to share knowledge   

DNV, Equinor, VNG, RWE Renewables, Wintershall Dea, Statkraft, and Hydro see a huge potential in the further development of cooperation between the countries – both with regard to renewable energy, hydrogen, and CCSU.   

Many Norwegian-German projects, such as the recently launched hydrogen project H2GE Rostock with Equinor and VNG, or CCSU-Value Chain with Wintershall Dea and Equinor show this.   

The skepticism especially from the German side regarding CCSU must be taken seriously, explained Hugo Dijkgraaf, CTO of Winterhsall Dea “The best thing is to explain the technology and demonstrate that it is safe.”   

Potential in the offshore wind market 

“Germany is top 3 in the world regarding installed capacity (7,9GW) and this is a huge market in the near future. They have ambitions on the installed capacity of 30GW by 2035, 40GW by 2040, and 70GW by 2045” said Director Wind at NORWEP Jon Dugstad. 

The industry needs a profitable supply chain, without this they can not achieve even 20% of their ambitions. 

“We need more cooperation between companies in the grid (including international standards) and standards for the equipment,” says Kristin Berg Head of Section Subsea Technology at DNV.