Norway possesses vast fossil and renewable energy resources that create enormous values for us as a country. The major share of these energy resources is exported to European countries. Our position as an energy exporting country is changing due to the necessary future decarbonization of the European energy market, that implies a need to cut CO2 emissions to fulfil the Paris Agreement. While the demand for fossil fuels is projected to decrease, the demand for renewable generation and infrastructure for handling captured CO2 is foreseen to increase. This may create new pathways for exploitation of Norway's energy resources and oil and gas infrastructure. The objective for the CleanExport project is to provide an analysis framework that increases the knowledge on how to fully exploit Norway's potential for exporting clean energy to Europe through hydrogen, renewable electricity generation and through natural gas with CO2 capture.
This pre-project of the CleanExport project has explored and reviewed the framework conditions that will shape Europe's demand for clean Norwegian energy, covering climate policies and regulations, economic and societal trends, energy technologies and infrastructure for energy export. The challenge for energy-scenario modelling is to bring together energy decision-making and everyday processes with the global long-term sustainability transition and uncertain energy policies. Through the conducted review, we see a need to challenge, in a transparent way, existing scenarios to extend their range and improve incorporation of uncertainties, particularly with respect to the introduction of currently immature technologies such as hydrogen or CO2 capture, transport and storage (CCS) at large scales. The pre-project has also reviewed modelling of integrated multi-carrier energy systems. Through this review, we have identified four main challenges that today's energy-system models face: Handling of multiple energy carriers both in terms of sector coupling and at the level of end-use, integration of multiple time and spatial scales, incorporation of uncertainties, and integration of energy-transition dynamics and human behaviour in the energy-system models. These pillars are important for the ability of energy-system models to provide reliable analysis for long-term investment and retrofit planning of energy-export infrastructure, and underlines the need for a holistic multi-carrier energy system model to analyse clean energy export from Norway to Europe.
The CleanExport pre-project has explored, harmonized and increased the knowledge on the framework conditions, including political, societal, technical and economic factors, that will impact and shape the European demand for clean Norwegian energy exports for the decades to come. Additionally, the project has reviewed and presented the complexity of the energy-system modeling required for conducting quantitative analysis of long-term, decarbonized multi-carrier energy export from Norway to Europe.
These results will enhance the ability of both project partners and external organization and entities to position and plan for a changing European energy demand. Moreover, the results from the project may facilitate improved decision making for investments in technology and infrastructure for clean energy generation and export.
The CleanExport pre-project prepares for assessments of alternatives for export of clean energy from Norway to Europe. A novel holistic approach will be outlined for investigating the synergies between the different available energy resources in Norway to satisfy the European energy needs. The energy sources foreseen to be covered in the porject are hydropower, wind, and natural gas. These sources can be transported as electric power (cables) gas (LNG or pipelines) or hydrogen (pipelines or LH2). When considering natural gas, CCS (CO2 capture and Storage) is a necessary for energy to be clean, either in the form of gas fired power with CCS or in the form of hydrogen production with CCS.
The pre-Project will review existing and projected future framework conditions and policies for export of clean energy from Norway to Europe, since the investigations foreseen in a possible next phase of CleanExport must be undertaken in agreement with national and European climate strategies and commitments.
I order to be able to develop a model for this holistic approach on clean energy export, existing energy system models will be reviewed and analyzed, and it will be assessed to what extent they integrate the different energy sectors.
Two workshops with the industrial partners in CleanExport are essential elements in the pre-project, to be able to undertake a purposeful review of the framework conditions for energy export, and for properly understanding the requirements on the projected holistic energy system model.
The multi-disciplinarity of the project will be assured by putting together the expertise of the SINTEF Energy departments Energy Systems and Gas Technology, SINTEF Industry department of Sustainable Energy Technology, and NTNU Department of Industrial Economics and Technology Management in cooperation with Equinor, Gassco, Total, Agder Energi, AirLiquide and Nel.