The future development of the hydropower system in Norway, to significantly increase the flexibility and balancing possibilities cannot be realized without political support and social acceptance, at national and international levels. For this, ‘the right’ political decisions should be made and accepted by the energy industry partners and citizens in all countries. Inter-governmental agreements and an even benefit sharing among countries and across the ‘value chain’ (generation, transmission, end-users and the society in general), are essential for encouraging large scale infrastructure development.

The main political drivers towards a future with large shares of renewable energy sources are emissions reduction and security of supply. However the energy policy goals have to be tuned with important environmental objectives which are also very high on the international and national political agendas. The future energy policy has to address the dual environmental challenge: the climate challenge on the one hand, and biodiversity, water quality and landscape concerns on the other hand. Relevant for scenario development will be thus the national and international political decisions, agreements and targets concerning renewable energy technologies, security of supply, and environmental concerns at regional and European level.

Society involvement in political debates and decisions regarding countries energy systems – examples, assessments