Greater demand for renewable energy is often used as argument for building new transmission capasity.
New demand for grid
When considering the quality of local environment and landscape, new power lines should be avoided. But when global warming is considered, strengthening of the grid is required both within Norway and between Norway and our neighbours.
The desire to limit CO2 emissions and the goals for more renewable power are two important driving forces behind many national grid enhancements being considered or implemented in Norway today. They are also important driving forces for national grid enhancements in our neighbouring countries and between the countries in the region. Trade helps to better utilise the available resources and improve security of supply.
New renewable power requires more transmission capacity
There are two important reasons why climate policy and investment in new renewable power requires more transmission capacity in the national grid.
- Renewable power must be generated in areas where the resources are plentiful and where development is socially acceptable. In many cases, this will result in renewable power generation being located far from the main areas of power consumption.
- The fact that new renewable power and other forms of zero-emission power generation are so inflexible and often controlled by the weather conditions increases the need to transport power between regions and countries. There is considerable value in transferring power from areas with a temporary surplus (low price) to areas with a temporary deficit (high price). As many forms of renewable power are unstable and dependent on the weather conditions (inflows and wind), an increase in the available transmission capacity is also important for supply dependability. Greater transmission capacity limits the need for (fossil) reserve capacity.
Climate policy and the work to develop new renewable power generation represent important driving forces behind many of the current and planned enhancements to the Norwegian central grid. It is a question of harnessing wind power in differing regions and transporting it to the consumers (link to the Namsos-Roan project), it is a question of supplying the petroleum sector with renewable power in the years to come (link to Balsfjord-Hammerfest) and it is a question of facilitating the sustainable and efficient supply of electricity together with our neighbouring countries. An increase in trade with other countries will also necessitate enhancements to the Norwegian national grid.
Norway and Jutland
The trade between Norway and Jutland is a good example of how interaction between two power systems can benefit both parties and make it possible to reduce CO2 emissions. Statnett and Energinet.dk (the Danish TSO) are planning to increase the capacity between Norway and Jutland by 600 MW. This expansion in the scope for trade will make it easier to realise Denmark's plans for the ambitious further development of wind power.