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Norway

Yearbook 1999

1999 NorwayNorway. The previous year's record low oil prices continued to pressure the Norwegian economy. In February, notice was given of extensive redundancies from the oil giant Statoil and from several companies related to the oil industry. During the year, however, oil prices rose from about 10 dollars per barrel to over 25 dollars and the krona strengthened. In the autumn, the OECD predicted that Norway would receive just over SEK 130 billion in operating surpluses in his budget in 2000. However, Minister of Finance Gudmund Restad, the Center Party, explained that no oil money would be added to the Norwegian economy because of the risk of interest rate increases and unemployment. This created strong dissatisfaction among the teachers, who demanded to raise their low wages, and among health care professionals, who demanded more money for the business.

1999 Norway

School and health care also became two main issues in the election campaign ahead of the municipal and county elections in September. According to Countryaah official website, the Progress Party, Frp, focused on the lack of resources in health care and the elderly. Høyre focused on school issues and pointed to studies on poor conditions in the classrooms. But immigrant and refugee issues may have received the greatest attention. FRP criticized the increased refugee reception - about 6,000 Kosovo Albanians were received in the spring - and integration policy. One of the party's local leaders demanded that asylum seekers should be interned in camps until they were sent back to their home country. For that, he was excluded from the party. At Frp's election meetings, left-wing youths demonstrated so audibly and violently that participants could not speak. Meetings also had to be canceled when the police did not consider themselves able to guarantee security.

Høyre fought fiercely with Frp in immigration issues and made a strong appearance in the municipal elections compared to the parliamentary elections two years earlier. The right got 21.4%, and the party took many voters from the Labor Party, Ap, who made their worst choice in seven decades with 28.7%. Frp became the third largest party with 12.1%, while the government parties Kristelig Folkeparti, Venstre and Senterpartiet together received 22.1%.

Ap's decline triggered an internal debate over party leader Torbjørn Jagland's position. He was subjected to internal pressure to reach a settlement with the central government and to give up his previous very tough opposition to the cash subsidy, the childcare allowance for families with young children introduced by the government. As a result, it was also open to a budget settlement between the central government and Ap. It closed in October. tax increases for high-income earners and more money for municipalities and for measures against unemployment. Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik's coalition with the Christian People's Party, the Venstre and the Center Party had concluded budget agreements with Høyre and Frp in the previous two years. During the year, Center Party leader Anne Enger Lahnstein resigned. Odd Roger Enoksen was chosen as her successor.

The Norwegian-Swedish relations were negatively affected as a result of both the prolonged and tear-off Telia-Telenor affair. In December, the merger between the two national telecommunications companies burst, and the Norwegian government was severely criticized by the opposition for its handling of the deal.

Otherwise, foreign policy was characterized by the N's presidency in the OSCE. Foreign Minister Knut Vollebæk was active in negotiations on a number of international conflicts, including the wars in Kosovo and Chechnya. N's role as mediator in the Middle East was highlighted in November at a memorial ceremony in Oslo for the assassinated Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. The holiday turned into a summit with many international participants, including US President Bill Clinton.

Energy in Norway

Energy in Norway is characterized by great access to renewable energy resources such as bioenergy, hydropower and wind power and non-renewable energy sources such as petroleum and natural gas. Energy consumption is relatively high due to topographic and climatic conditions. Energy production in Norway has mainly focused on the development of watercourses and the extraction of oil and natural gas. More recently, renewable and alternative energy sources have been invested. Norway has traditionally been skeptical about the use of nuclear energy, and has no such plants in operation for ordinary power generation.

Early history

As long as people have lived in Norway, they have acquired both heat and light with the help of fire. Bioenergy is thus the oldest source of energy used in Norway, as elsewhere in the world, and still plays an important role in meeting the need for heat. There are still some households where wood burning is the most important source of heating.

As simple forms of industrial production grew, there was also a need to utilize mechanical energy. Here, Norwegian hydropower played an important role and this form of energy was used already in the early Middle Ages, ie long before electricitygot discovered. Mills and mills existed already in the 13th century. Around 1750, nearly 30,000 mills were found, and water wheels were used for mechanical operation of carrots and sawmills, hammer and stamp mills, crushers, bellows, bilge pumps and lifting devices at the ironworks and in the mines. Water wheels, previously made of wood, were from approx. in the mid-1800s, gradually made of steel and equipped with better opportunities for utilization and regulation of water supply. The importance of hydropower was particularly great in Norway, not only because the waterfall resources were large, but also because they were well distributed throughout the country. Since waterfall energy cannot be transported, industry must be established near the source. With a good distribution of hydropower, it was also possible to achieve a good distribution of associated business activities.

The electrification of Norway

When electrification began towards the end of the 19th century, the many waterfalls provided the basis for power supply for both normal consumption and industry. Thanks to the development of AC technology, the current could now be transported over greater distances so that the industry could be located further away from the waterfalls. With waterfalls of suitable size and location, which existed almost everywhere, Norway joined the exploitation of such innovations early. This provided opportunities for the development of new industry.

Norway was also early in the process of using electricity for general supply. Local power plants grew around the utilization of local hydropower sources. This characterized the electrification of the country. Unlike many other countries where electrification started in the big cities and later grew outwards in rural areas, there was a parallel development in cities and districts in Norway. Areas with highly dispersed settlement were still lagging behind for economic reasons. In 1946, approx. 650,000 people, ie 20% of the population, in relatively porky areas, without access to electricity. Through a state aid scheme, which started in 1938, funds were made available to cover part of the investment cost in areas where the foundation was too poor to be financially self-sustaining. By 1965, the number of uninsured persons had dropped to 2650. Today, all permanent residents are considered to have access to electricity, and the state aid scheme has therefore been terminated. Those who live far awaydistribution network, has received subsidies for the procurement of diesel generators, but they must now pay for the operation of the units themselves. Over the years, a total of approx. DKK 4 billion (calculated in current monetary value) granted as investment support for the electricity supply.

As a result of access to affordable hydropower, Norway is more electrified than any other country. The industry is largely based on the use of electrical energy for the production of aluminum, ferro alloys and wood processing. The same applies to households, where it has been far more common in Norway to use electrical energy for heating. This means that the electricity consumption per capita in Norway is the highest in the world, 23,232 kWh (2003), while the total energy consumption per capita (5.11 toe, corresponding to 60,500 kWh) is about the same level as in many other industrialized countries. (Source: IEA: Key World Energy Statistics 2005.)

Hydropower era

Already from the beginning of the 1900s, hydropower was used to build up power-intensive industry, cf. Norsk Hydro and the wood processing companies along the rivers. After World War II, power intensive industry, based on hydroelectric power for aluminum production and for electrochemical and electrometallurgical industry, largely developed in Norway as part of the division of labor in the reconstruction of Europe. The most intense development of hydropower took place in the periods 1910 to 1925, with an average of approx. 0.37 TWh increased production capacity per year, and from 1960 to 1985 by approx. 2.8 TWh / year. The strong increase is due to several conditions - industrial and economic development with demands for increased comfort, conversion from fossil fuels and wood to use of electricity for heating, rising oil prices and the desire to move away from polluting fuels.

In the 1960s and 1970s, plans were made for the integration of heat power in the Norwegian power generation system. The purpose was to mitigate the uncertainty associated with hydropower's dependence on annual rainfall, which can vary widely from year to year. A heat power plant could then act as a form of dry-year protection. Initially, nuclear power was considered, but these plans were set aside when the Storting decided in 1979 that the power supply should be based on continued hydropower development for the time being. Subsequent plans for the establishment of other forms of thermal power (coal power) were also shelved.

From 1985, the changeover and thus the strong increase in the demand for electricity slowed. In addition, the development cost for hydropower increased, and there was no expansion in the power-intensive industry. During the years 1993–2003, hydropower production decreased by 1.2% per year. in average. Many of the power stations built 50-60 years ago are still in full operation. The Norwegian hydropower therefore represents a renewable energy supply that can last for generations.

The oil age

Norway entered the oil age with the first discoveries of petroleum in the North Sea towards the end of the 1960s, and the country became a net exporter of oil and gas from 1975. the higher the price of oil, the importance of natural gas has gradually increased, as the outlets have developed and the discoveries have increased (see also petroleum and petroleum extraction).

The Norwegian oil resources have had a great impact on the Norwegian economy, but little on domestic energy supply. For example, Norway is a major gas nation in terms of production, but domestic consumption is among the smallest in Europe.

Recent times - new renewable energy sources

The oil crisis in 1973 led to a renewed interest in new renewable energy sources internationally. High oil prices and the desire of the industrialized countries to become more self-sufficient in energy and to reduce their dependence on oil motivated them to start work on developing new forms of energy based on renewable energy. Later, environmental and climate considerations have also played an increasingly important role.

Compared to other countries, Norway has a very high proportion of renewable energy (over 50 per cent of Norway's energy consumption has renewable origin, mainly waterfall energy). Nor has Norway experienced the same need to reduce its oil dependency. However, environmental conflicts related to extensive hydropower development provided incentives for the development of new renewable energy in Norway as well.

The most important new renewable energy forms that have been tested in Norway are wind power, first developed in 1986 on Frøya; ground heat, recovered by heat pumps, and new forms of bioenergy, such as various forms of biomass for heat production, and bioethanol and biodiesel for fuel. The heat power is most often distributed to the consumer as hot water, so-called district heating. Solar energy came "on the market" around 1980. When it came to using solar cells, Norway was the market leader in the world for an initial period. This market grew without public support, and was primarily driven by a demand for electricity for remote cabins, as there are many in Norway. The solar cells have gradually become more energy efficient, at the same time as the price has fallen, which seems to be opening a new renaissance for solar energy in Norway.

Today, the most important tools for promoting renewable energy are the Energy Fund and electricity certificates.

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