UK and Norway agree energy partnership

A pioneering energy partnership between the UK and Norway, which aims to secure affordable and sustainable long term energy supplies for the two countries, has been unveiled.

Announced today (June 7), the agreement between prime minister David Cameron and Norwegian prime minister Jens Stoltenberg aims to enable closer collaboration between the two countries across a wide range of energy activities.

These include; safe and environmentally sensitive oil and gas extraction, long term gas supply, renewable energy investment, electricity interconnection and international climate change policy development.

In addition, billions of pounds of new investment have been pledged from UK and Norwegian energy companies to help create thousands of new jobs.

Mr Cameron said: “The jobs and investments announced today highlight how vital the strong relationship between Norway and the United Kingdom is for our energy security and economic growth. We look forward to strengthening our partnership further, driving investment into a diverse, sustainable energy mix that delivers affordable long term supplies for consumers.”

National Grid said that it welcomed support from the PM for its interconnector subsea electricity project which would link the UK and Norway.

It is anticipated that the project, which is being developed by the Grid and Statnett, will help bring Norway’s low-carbon hydropower into the UK market, as well as diversify the sources of supply for both countries. It is hoped the link could be in operation by 2020.

National Grid chief executive Steve Holliday, said: “Jointly we are looking to invest more than £1bn on what would be the first link between UK and Norway.

“Using state of the art technology, the interconnector will give the UK the fast response we will need to help support the management of intermittent wind energy with clean hydro power from Norway. It would also enable us to export renewable energy when we are in surplus.”

A deal between Shell and Gassco, which aims to strengthen UK energy security by providing British customers with more gas from Norway was also announced, alongside various commercial contracts between the two countries to cooperate on gas exploration and supply.

Energy minister Charles Hendry, said: “For many decades Norway has been one of our most trusted and valuable partners, working with us to develop North Sea resources that underpin our energy security.

“The investments and jobs announced today by British and Norwegian companies are a clear signal of the benefits of this partnership.”

Carys Matthews

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