Nations team up to develop renewables

Britain and Norway have agreed to work together in order to develop renewable and other energy sources.

renewable energies, wind energy, solar energy, natural gas, Chris Huhne

The countries have signed an energy pact which aims to expand ties in renewable and fossil fuel energy sources. These sources include carbon capture and storage technologies, which had been in jeopardy after the UK government aborted a project in this field just a week before.

The deal was signed by UK Energy Secretary Chris Huhne and Norwegian Energy Minister Ola Borten Moe in London.

“Our energy security is enhanced by close links with Scandinavia and Europe. As North Sea neighbors, the UK has long enjoyed close and beneficial ties with Norway based on the development of oil and gas. And as renewables and CCS develop further, it is increasingly vital that we work closely in these areas too,” said Huhne. “Today’s agreement confirms the importance of Norwegian natural gas to UK energy needs as an essential part of our longer term energy security, and it boosts cooperation on CCS and the development of renewable energy and interconnection,” he added.

Long-term future

The deal will see Britain and Norway coordinate long-term energy policies until 2015, in an attempt to meet emissions reduction targets. Norwegian gas supplies look set to backup UK power generation for the foreseeable future – both parties said use of Norwegian gas into the 2020s will help UK emission targets as carbon capture and storage technology is put into use.

The pact has also reestablished a commitment to pursuing research into interconnectors between the two nations, which would increase the integration of the energy networks of the UK and Norway, the UK’s largest supplier of foreign gas.

The countries said the pact would see them work together in the development of carbon capture and storage demonstration projects, in addition to supporting domestic renewable energy policies. This commitment to carbon capture and storage came a week after the British government canceled plans to fund such a demonstration project in Scotland.

Critics have claimed carbon capture and storage technology is too costly, and as yet it is commercially unproven. However, if viable it could prove a key tool in capturing and interring greenhouse gas emissions.

South African solar support

Elsewhere, last month also saw the World Bank approve a $250 million funding package for a renewable energy scheme in South Africa. The loan, made through the World Bank’s Clean Technology Fund, will enable South African power utility Eskom to develop a 100-megawatt solar power plant in Upington, Northern Cape province, and a 100-megawatt wind power project at Sere, north of Cape Town.

“Africa is beginning to grow and the problem of energy insecurity is dampening that growth,” said World Bank Vice President for the Africa Region, Obiageli K. Ezekwesili. “By investing in these cutting-edge, transformational solar and wind power projects, we are saying that Africa can lead the way in securing a clean energy future,” he added.

Bookmark and Share

About admin