Policy in 'Business as usual'

There is a strong belief in Norway that new interconnectors and export of balancing services will bring higher electricity prices to the country. Therefore, the policy measures adopted in 2013-2015 are to ensure cheap and reliable electricity supply.

Few incentives for large scale investments in new interconnectors and pumped storage capacities are given. There is an increasing and more organized opposition against power plant and network development in Norway. Media reports often environmental and economic conflicts regarding the distribution of costs and compensations. Concerns raised by local communities, environmental NGOs and residents on possible negative impacts of further development of the hydropower system and of high voltage transmission lines concerning economic, environmental and social interests remains inconclusive enforcing public opposition.

Steps taken to speed up and streamline the concession processes regarding hydropower and grid projects does not result in shorter concession processes. Meanwhile in North-Western Europe, countries investing in wind power and other non- regulated energy sources will go ahead and build their own balancing capacities.

In 2020 EUs 2020-targets about 20 % RES are not reached and EU has issued new conditions/rules in order to achieve 20 % RES before 2025. Norway’s targets, with respect to the RES-directive are not attained but at the same time as there is an increasing European interest for Norwegian balancing power. Since the balancing services only to a limited extent are offered in Norway, countries with a high demand for balancing services choose other technologies, such as gas. A post-Kyoto agreement is made and covers technology development but not a global CO2 quotas market. The planed North Sea network receives EU political and financial support only at the end of 2020.

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