Green energy creates trade and jobs
Norway is a small country, around 5 million inhabitants, which has transformed its transport sector into renewable energy. They are the world leaders in electric vehicle (EV) adoption: 60% of new cars sold are EVs.
The country has also developed a national policy to support the transition to renewable energy, first by subsidizing the costs of electric vehicles by reducing additional costs such as VAT and CO2 taxes. They claimed that a population moves too slowly to make transitional changes unless there is strong political support.
Employment is another essential aspect of the transition to renewable energies. While the Biden administration emphasizes creating new jobs as the United States tackles climate change, it is worth considering the experience of other countries like Norway that are doing so.
New businesses and jobs.
Trade and employment have followed climate policy in Norway. The four new battery factories in Norway are one example. The strategy is not only to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, but also to make money in renewable energy markets that create jobs.
According to investment bank UBS, new electric vehicles could account for 40% of all new cars by 2030. As one Norwegian observer put it, very seriously, no one will produce ICE cars after 2030 because it doesn’t. will make no economic sense.
As a result, visionaries are planning gigantic factories, like Elon Musk’s new factory in the Nevada desert. A gigafactory is so named because the factory occupies a large air space for the manufacture of car batteries. The space includes huge machines that mix lithium, cobalt, and other metals. These are then dried row after row of industrial ovens.
This is a whole new industry for Europe, and clearly an important part of the green transition. FREYR Battery is building a gigafactory in northern Norway in a town called Mo i Rana, near a popular ski resort. The company says it will tackle the rapidly expanding markets for electric vehicles, energy storage and marine applications. The start date is 2025.
Based on next-generation semi-solid battery cells and easy access to renewable energy sources from Norway, FREYR’s goal is to become the producer of battery cells with the lowest carbon footprint over the life span. of life.
Northvolt are building a gigafactory in neighboring Sweden that will occupy an area of ââ70 football stadiums and create 10,000 new jobs in the region. The expected start-up is 2021. The company’s goal is to manufacture enough batteries for 300,000 electric vehicles per year. Investment money is pouring in from banks, and even Volkswagen. Skelleftea Town Base is investing in electric buses and energy efficient houses to create a livable green town.
These gigafactories focus on a low carbon footprint for their entire supply chain, starting with hydro and wind power which is green and cheap in the Nordic countries.
In Northumberland, the UK is planning a Britishvolt-run gigafactory slated for late 2023. In addition to offshore wind, the UK is planning to import renewable hydropower from Norway to power the plant. factory.
What about Texas?
Texas could be considered comparable to Norway because of its large wind farms in the northern and western parts of the state. The Kansas family who roamed the country on Interstate 40 would encounter 50 miles of windmills on both sides of Amarillo, Texas.
As the conservative governor of an oil state in the years 2000-2015, Rick Perry created one of the greatest renewable energy systems in the world.
The key was to simplify the electric transmission system. If it was his own country, Texas at the end of 2019 would have been the fifth wind power producer in the world. It would also have been the sixth largest oil and gas producer in the world.
But Texas is markedly different from Norway. 20% of its power consumption comes from the wind. Another 10% comes from nuclear power. But the electricity sector only accounts for 13% of final consumption, where oil and gas dominate with 86%. Wind energy is therefore a small component of total final consumption in Texas (around 4%) and much lower than in Norway (67%).
As you might expect, Texas is dominated by oil and gas consumption. The situation is much the same as the general situation in the United States.
the texas wind farm system took off in 2005 when large segments of transmission lines were built from the northern and western parts of the state to larger eastern populations. The number of wind turbines increased exponentially until 2020.
Texas statistics provide an example of what other states, and even countries, might aspire to (Table 1).
Recent news builds on the success of Texas. New renewable projects totaling 15 GW are in advanced development. The projects will be worth $ 20-25 billion, which is a lot of money. New green energy projects are as important as the next three US states put together.
Comparison with the bulleted list above shows that an additional 15 GW of wind power is a 50% increase from Q3 2020, and the monetary increase is on the same order. If the job increases are proportional, that would imply an additional 13,000 jobs.
Norway’s total renewable capacity is 31 GW, so Texas’ new projects are half of it. At this level, therefore, the renewable systems of Texas are comparable to those of Norway. But the big disparity is that renewables in Texas will remain a small percentage of the state’s energy use, compared to 67% in Norway.
Texas will need to meet and reduce demand for oil by proactively turning to green energy companies or pushing for policies like carbon pricing that will limit GHG emissions. Meanwhile, Norway plans peak world oil production will be 2030. Thus, the demand for oil will not collapseâ¦. but instead will slowly decrease.