That was the message in a recent webinar comprising key players in the two neighboring counties.
Proximity to the North Sea, vast renewable energy resources, storage capacity builders, and the competence and technology from the oil and gas industry, were listed as common denominators for this south-western region of Norway.
VIDEO: Watch the full webinar
Kyrre Knudsen, Chief Economist at Sparebank 1 SR-Bank, talked about the opportunities presented by a more closely connected region. Highway projects already under way will reduce the travel time between regional capitals Kristiansand and Stavanger from 3.5 to just 2 hours.
“People will find it easier not only to travel within this region, but also to live and work. The Agder-Rogaland region will likely be a more attractive region in years to come,” said Knudsen.
Eimund Nygård, CEO of Lyse Energi, one of the largest Norwegian utilities, dubbed Agder/Rogaland as “The renewable window on the world”, reflecting on the region’s hydropower production, wind resources and proximity to the European market.
Commenting on the wind resources, Johan Sandberg, Director of Business Development at Aker Offshore Wind, said Norway has a competitive edge when entering floating offshore wind, based on competence and technology from the oil and gas industry.
“Same ingredients, different recipe,” said Sandberg, offering both a comparison and a differentiator between floating wind and oil and gas. “Floating wind demands a more cost-efficient mindset. Cost has to come down from 150 to 50 Euro per MWh by 2030,” said Sandberg.
Ove Gusevik, Senior Partner at HitecVision, pointed to the accelerating demand for electrical vehicles, a global trend that the Agder/Rogaland region is well positioned to take advantage of. n the NHO report “Green Electric Value Chains”, it was estimated last year that battery suppliers in Norway can reach a total turnover of NOK 90 billion as soon as 2030.
Beyonder in Stavanger, Morrow in Arendal and Elkem in Kristiansand are key regional battery technology players, supported by the University of Agder, which is establishing a PhD fellowship to support the knowledge development within battery technology.
“The green shift leads to more focus on technology development. Capital is available for green projects, but investors need to see profitability. With the rising oil prices and inflation, the oil and gas sector is still attractive to many investors. Thus, the green shift will realistically take some time,” said Gusevik.