Nordic Energy Research attended the 75th Session of the Nordic Council, which took place in Oslo from 30 October to 2 November. This year, the main theme was a secure, green, and young Nordic region. In addition, the agenda included the Nordic countries in NATO, how to speed up the green transition, and young people’s participation in democracy.

Two focal points of particular interest during the Session were the commitments part of the Programme for Sweden’s Presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers in 2024 – for fossil free electricity production and a green transition of the transport sector.

Energy priorities in the upcoming presidency programme

Next year, Sweden will hold the presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers. During the Tuesday session the Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson presented the Swedish Presidency’s upcoming programme. In the chapter on a Green Nordic Region, the programme highlights the importance of increased production of fossil free electricity and a further development of the electricity markets:

“Increased fossil free electricity production is required to enable the extensive electrification that is a key to the climate transition. In the Nordic region, work is underway to get new fossil free electricity production in place in the form of onshore and offshore wind power, solar power, and nuclear power. It is important that we utilise and seek collaborative solutions between interests that have claims in the same areas.”

“Nordic cooperation in the electricity market is unique in the world. In addition to being one of the world’s most integrated regional partnerships, the Nordic region is also a world leader in sustainable and fossil free energy and climate-smart solutions. At the same time, there is a need to further develop the Nordic electricity market, both to reduce the climate impact and to break the dependence on Russian fossil energy in Europe. This will be a priority and will receive special attention during the Swedish Presidency.”

These priorities imply an extra relevance to two working groups and the Nordic Council of Ministers, where Nordic Energy Research acts as the secretariat, the Electricity Market Group (EMG) and the Nordic Working Group on Renewable Energy and Hydrogen (NAFH). EMG follows closely the developments of the Nordic power market and aims to promote Nordic views in the European regulatory processes, while NAFH’s overall objective is to promote the use and production of renewable energy and hydrogen in the Nordic region. NAFH supports the Nordic countries through knowledge sharing with focus on sector integration, for instance when it comes to hydrogen and new fuels that might not be commercially mature yet, but expected to addressing a range of challenges in sectors that would otherwise be difficult or costly to electrify and make climate-neutral.

Andrea Stengel, Senior Adviser at Nordic Energy Research and Programme Administrator of EMG, explains further how EMG supports Sweden’s presidency programme:

“The Nordic Electricity Market Forum, the annual Nordic meeting place for the entire power sector, will be held in Stockholm in September next year. This is just the right time for the Swedish Presidency to have a good dialogue with the power industry, which is essential to managing electrification and the green transition. The industry is ready – they have the knowledge and capital and are supporting the green transition – but they need Nordic cooperation on the political side to realize the ambitions, since the flow of power does not follow national borders in our integrated Nordic power system.”

From left: Kevin Johnsen, COO, Klaus Skytte, CEO, Ragnhild Leganger, Intern, Maria Eklöf, Head of Communications, and Ole Aune Ødegård, Adviser

Another element for achieving a Green Nordic Region highlighted in the programme is a transition of the transport sector. The programme states that:

“The transition of the transport sector is central to a competitive Nordic region and to the Nordic countries’ ability to achieve their climate and environmental goals. A continued focus on making the transport system more efficient, electrifying and digitalising it will therefore be a priority during the Presidency.”

Nordic Energy Research support a green transport sector through activities such as the Nordic Maritime Transport and Energy Research Programme and the working group Green transition of the transport sector.

Read the whole Programme for Sweden’s Presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers in 2024 (in Swedish).

Watch recordings from the Nordic Council Session here.

Read more about the Nordic Council Session here.

Visit from the Ministers for Nordic Cooperation

In connection with the Nordic Council Session, Nordic Energy Research, together with Nordic Innovation, and NordForsk, had the pleasure of welcoming the Ministers for Nordic Cooperation as well as Secretary General Karen Ellemann to our facilities in Oslo.

From left: Klaus Skytte, CEO of Nordic Energy Research, Cathrine Pia Lund, CEO of The Nordic Swan Ecolabel, Karen Ellemann, Secretary General of the Nordic Council of Ministers, Arne Flåøyen, Managing Director of Nordic Innovation, Louise Schack Elholm, Danish Minister, Bjarni Kárason Petersen, Faroese Minister, Jessika Roswall, Swedish Minister, Svein Berg, Managing Director of NordForsk, Anna-Maja Henriksson, Finnish Minister, Anne Beathe Kristiansen Tvinnereim, Norwegian Minister, and Annette Holmberg-Jansson, Ålandic Minister

The ministers were keen to know more about how Nordic Energy Research’s work accelerates the Nordic vision of becoming the most sustainable and integrated region in the world, and CEO Klaus Skytte gave an introduction to Nordic Energy Research, presenting a range of programmes and projects that contribute to the greater Nordic cooperation by way of energy cooperation.

Nordic Energy Research would like to thank the Ministers for Nordic Cooperation and Secretary General for paying us a visit and engaging in encouraging discussions. We look forward to continuing our collaboration under the coming Swedish Presidency!