Norway Builds Wind Farm to Boost Oil Production. How Ironic?

Automologist MAC is here to bring them back to earth. 

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Norway, the small nation that clings to the northwest margins of Europe, has announced that it is to build the world’s largest wind farm in an effort to power the Viking Nation’s abundant oil and gas fields. Now, if you are feeling a little bemused at this point, I don’t blame you.

Those oil-rich Norsemen have given the project over to Equinor, a Norwegian Energy company that specialises in developing oil, gas wind and solar energy projects, who just happens to be drilling for oil and gas in the same area. The new project will be called Hywind Tampen and it sort of represents a bit of a conundrum for a country that is currently ranked as the most fossil-fuel-dependent industrialised economy in the world.

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The discovery of vast oil and gas fields in the Northern North Sea in the late 1960s propelled Norway from an economy centred on fishing and logging to one of the wealthiest and most progressive welfare states in the world. Despite being so dependent on hydrocarbons to run their economy,  Norwegians consider themselves to be a green nation. Much of the nation’s domestic energy comes from hydroelectric sources and about 70% of all new vehicles are electric powered, which I believe is the highest uptake by any nation in the world.

According to Equinor, the project when completed will amount to about 50% of all offshore wind turbines in the world and will provide about 35% of all the energy required to run the rig operations, thus cutting about 330,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases annually. Of course this is good news on one level, but just because you make your product a little greener doesn’t make it green.

Currently, about 60% of Norway’s exports are hydrocarbon-based and whilst we all like a good green initiative, the government there has no plan to reduce the offshore fossil fuel business anytime soon.


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