Renewable energy is an integral part of the Norwegian economy. Hydropower supplies more than 95 pct. of our electricity and we are world leaders in technology, engineering and competence in this sector. However, we have set a goal to decarbonize our economy and to become the world’s first fully electrified country in the world. This requires a diversified renewable energy mix.
The world energy market is developing fast under the influence of trends such as digitalization and decentralization. Oslo is using these trends to generate innovation.
The Norwegian government has showed strong support for young renewable energy industries such as the solar energy industry. The support is provided through programmes such as the National Innovation Cluster programme and the Centres for Environment-friendly Energy Research. Economic and policy instruments, as well as energy standards are of great importance. These activities, together with advancing technology, make the adoption of renewable energy possible and affordable. For example, in 2016 the solar panel installations in Norway grew by 366%.
Digitalization and decentralization
Consumers in Norway are free to choose their energy provider. A free energy market allows competition and this in turn allows good and cheap services for the end user. But mega trends such as the internet of things, big data, real time analytics and blockchain are taking the energy industry by storm. They can allow the consumer to start producing its own energy or to buy it from its neighbors. Oslo sees this as a great opportunity for new business models and innovation, and there are already examples of innovative companies in our region which are leading the way in this transition.
Innovation and start-ups
Oslo has a young and enthusiastic start-up scene. More and more start-ups in Oslo develop their business models to tackle regional, national and even global challenges, and clean and affordable energy is no exception. Bright minds that were a part of the oil and gas industry before have chosen the path of renewable energy and have left the corporate world for the more exciting start-up scene. Incubators, start-up villages and co-working spaces are the new up-and-coming job generators in Oslo.