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EU visit to Kvilldal

12 Feb, 2016

The Vice President of the European Commission, Maros Šefčovič, visited Kvilldal hydropower plant with Statkraft’s CEO Christian Rynning-Tønnesen and The Norwegian Minister of EEA and EU affairs Elisabeth Aspaker on February 11. Vice President Šefčovič is in charge of the EU Energy Union.

“This is the heart of Norwegian hydropower and I wanted to show him that flexible, clean and cost-efficient hydropower will enable the transformation of European energy systems,” says Christian Rynning-Tønnesen.

Norway’s total hydropower reservoir capacity is approximately 85 TWh, which corresponds to 50 % of Europe’s storage capacity. Hydropower provides unique flexibility and is an ideal partner for intermittent wind and solar power in Europe.

Rynning-Tønnesen pointed out Statkraft’s views on EU energy policy, namely that carbon pricing with a stronger European trading scheme for CO2 emissions (ETS) should be the corner stone of European energy and climate policy. 

“I was very impressed to see the large hydropower reservoirs that allow for flexible production when needed.” Vice President Šefčovič stated.  “Norway can be a giant battery for the EU, and this is important to the success of our commitment to renewable energy and to achieve our climate targets”, said Šefčovič.

The Vice President  paid special attention to Blåsjø, which can store close to 8 TWh in its reservoir. And he got the opportunity to see it by helicopter with his own eyes when our CEO invited him to fly close to the lake on their way back to Stavanger.

The Norwegian Minister of EEA and EU affairs Ms. Elisabeth Aspaker accompanied the Vice President together with the state secretary Ingvil Tybring-Gjedde from the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy.