In Norway, electric power is the dominant energy carrier with about 50 % of the total consumption. This puts Norway in a unique position with a high dependence on electric power. Of all the electric power produced in Norway, approximately 98 – 99 % is based on renewable water power, and our production capacity exceeds the national consumption in a “mean year”. This leads to the belief that our electric power consumption is sustainable and of low environmental impact.
Unfortunately, this is not the case. Our water power is clean and renewable and one can sell guarantees of origin for renewable power – that means that the provider can guarantee that the power delivered is clean water power. In 2011, Norway produced 122, 1 TWh of water power while guarantees of origin were sold to other countries for 98,1 TWh. Of the total electric power consumption in Norway the same year, the entire of 109, 2 TWh was delivered without guarantees of origin – that is to say that this is power which is part of the energy mix in Europe. If you don’t have a guarantee of origin – in fact only 23 % of the electric power can be considered to be renewable.