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This is how Norway can become Europe’s battery

Published on: 13. August 2018

A new roadmap shows how Norway can function as Europe’s blue-green battery, using the flexibility of the Norwegian hydropower system for large-scale balancing and energy storage.

This is how Norway can become Europe’s battery
Julie Charmasson was the editor of the new roadmap.

The future power production in Northern Europe, with large shares of wind and solar power production, will result in periods with very low production when there is hardly any wind or sun. In other periods, Europe will produce much more wind and solar power than they can use. To balance the gap between production and consumption, the power system needs flexible, controllable options – like hydropower with large reservoirs.  

The CEDREN-project HydroBalance investigated the possibility of using Norwegian hydropower for large-scale balancing and energy storage in the future European energy system. 

– We have studied the need for flexibility and storage, whether it is technically possible and economically profitable. We have investigated environmental requirements and social and regulatory challenges, says project manager Michael Belsnes, regarding the recently published “Roadmap for large-scale balancing and energy storage from Norwegian hydropower”.

This roadmap is the final deliverable from HydroBalance, elaborated by researches from SINTEF Energy, the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA) and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). 


Research based support for discussions and decisions 


The roadmap is written to inform politicians and authorities like NVE, Statnett, the Norwegian Environment Agency and OED about the possible future role of Norwegian hydropower, as a research-based support when choosing the road ahead.

The document is an important part of the research basis for an event at Arendalsuka this week, discussing how Norway can become Europe’s battery.

– We will present the main messages from the roadmap at Arendalsuka together with the results from the research centre CenSES (Centre for Sustainable Energy Studies), the roadmap editor Julie Charmasson says.

Read more about the event “Slik kan Norge bli Europas batteri – og samtidig skape arbeidsplasser og redde klimaet».


Necessary multidisciplinary approach


Joining the research results from several (very) different disciplines in one user friendly and relatively short roadmap might seem like a mission impossible. It is, however, strictly necessary.

– You can’t have only turbine engineers, for example, looking at this. All disciplines must be involved to be able to answer such complex questions, Charmasson says, and adds that they have all learned a lot from each other.

Download the roadmap here.