Norway: Statnett Launches Transmission Grid Development Plan

The Statnett Grid Development Plan 2011 launched Wednesday upholds Statnett ambitions and specifies the investments to be implemented by 2021. The aim is to ensure supply of energy to Norwegian consumers, facilitate Norwegian climate policy and economic growth. The planned investments amount to between NOK 40 and 50 billion.

In 2010 Statnett presented it’s ambitions for the coming decade. The Grid Development Plan 2011 presents a more specific plan of measures and how to implement them’, Statnett’s CEO and President Auke Lont says. Key drivers when developing the plan have been to ensure security of supply in the Bergen area and in northern Norway, as well as contributing to more equal prices between Mid-Norway and South Norway through increasing grid capacities.

The importance of facilitating renewable energy projects along the coast from Lindesnes to North Cape, both small hydro and wind power plants, electrification of the petroleum industry and new industrial activity along the coast, are other significant factors being considered when developed and upgrading the total grid system.

Statnett operates in a setting in which climate measures can have a negative impact on nature and local environment. ‘This is a serious paradox which we will be handling with care’, Lont emphasises. The need to consider both environmental and climate issues when planning new investments was the reason why Statnett earlier in November, along with European grid operators and the international and national NGOs, signed a joint European initiative (Renewable Grid Initiative). This will bind all signed parties to find joint solutions that will take best care of both the climate and environment.

Today’s efficient network must be upgraded

The Norwegian transmission grid system is among the most efficient in Europe. However, over years the margins have been reduced and are soon to be exhausted. This means that investments are necessary to maintain adequate supply both in the short and long term.

The Grid Development Plan 2011 aims to establish a stronger grid system that handles the varying availability of power, varying consumption – and several different scenarios for future developments. A solid infrastructure will handle several unforeseen events and trajectories of development. For example, the lack of an appropriate grid system can prevent economic development, which again indirectly will lead to substantial economic losses to the society, Auke Lont concludes.

Subsea World News Staff , December 01, 2011;  Image: Statnett

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