Erla Sigríður Gestsdóttir on resources and resilience in Reykjavík
On 3 October, DNV arranged a workshop within the Nordic Roadmap project – a project where Nordic Energy Research acts as secretariat. Prior to the workshop, Nordic Energy Research had the…
On 3 October, DNV arranged a workshop within the Nordic Roadmap project – a project where Nordic Energy Research acts as secretariat. Prior to the workshop, Nordic Energy Research had the pleasure of interviewing the Chair of the Nordic Committee, Erla Sigríður Gestsdóttir, who opened the workshop in Reykjavík.
Nordic energy cooperation benefits Nordic cooperation
The workshop is a great example of Nordic energy cooperation in practice. But how does the Nordic energy cooperation benefit the Nordic cooperation at large? According to Gestsdóttir, collaborative research on larger projects enhances cross-border cooperation and the pooling of resources. It also contributes to the development of a stronger network of energy specialists who can share expertise, enhancing the collective knowledge base of the region.
“In addition, coordination of energy planning allows countries to anticipate and address potential energy security challenges collectively. This collective approach helps mitigate risks and ensures a more reliable and resilient energy supply for the region,” says Gestsdóttir. “Such enhancement of energy security is at the same time interconnected with the energy market, making it more efficient and encouraging cross-border investments. This efficiency helps prevent energy shortages and reduces the vulnerability to price spikes or market fluctuations.”
The Nordic region as a collective force in the energy sector
Nordic energy cooperation is not only beneficial to the Nordic cooperation – it also contributes to the climate goals regionally as well as globally.
“Collaboration on renewable energy resources supports the Nordic region’s climate goals,” says Gestsdóttir. “By collaborating to maximize the use of clean energy sources, we can reduce reliance on fossil fuels, lower greenhouse gas emissions, and support the transition to a more sustainable global energy mix.”
Thereby, successful energy cooperation between the Nordic countries has a simultaneous positive impact for the green energy transition beyond the Nordic countries.
“The Nordic region, as a collective force in the energy sector, can have a more substantial impact on global energy discussions and negotiations. The Nordics can advocate for stronger climate policies and collaborate with other nations to advance global climate agreements,” says Gestsdóttir.
The Nordic Hydrogen Valleys Conference
The workshop is held in coordination with the Nordic Hydrogen Valleys Conference, which starts in Reykjavík the day after the workshop. At the conference, Gestsdóttir will discuss the Icelandic energy transition challenge. The conference is part of the programme Nordic Hydrogen Valleys as Energy Hubs, which Gestsdóttir finds very valuable.
“The Nordic Hydrogen Valleys as Energy Hubs programme adds tremendous value to our region. By showcasing hydrogen’s potential, we are not only aligning with global climate goals but also leading by example, inspiring other regions to follow suit. The programme diversifies energy sources and lessens the reliance on fossil fuels, thus enhancing energy security. Also, it boosts economies with export potential of hydrogen technology, creates job opportunities, and fosters innovation and research, which attracts investment,” says Gestsdóttir.
In view of the potential carried by both Nordic energy cooperation and the Nordic Hydrogen Valleys as Energy Hubs programme, how can we increase our mutual efforts around energy and hydrogen in the Nordics? Gestsdóttir highlights six key strategies to focus on.
- Policy alignment. Align policies across Nordic countries for a consistent and favourable environment.
- Infrastructure. Invest in cross-border infrastructure for efficient clean energy exchange.
- Knowledge sharing. Collaborate on research and share best practices.
- Private sector engagement. Encourage industry involvement through incentives.
- International partnerships. Form partnerships with neighbouring regions and global organizations.
- Public awareness. Raise awareness of clean energy benefits.
“These steps will boost cooperation and drive our shared sustainability goals,” says Gestsdóttir.
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