In Norway, green energy plans meet resistance

STORY: This is Herøya -- home to Norway's biggest onshore industrial site.

It's planning to ditch natural gas -- and go fully electric with power from the grid.

But that might just be the beginning.

Norway wants to electrify everything – from industry to transportation...

Why has that become a controversy?

Norway has - until now - been a major power exporter.

But it's expected to have a power deficit from 2027 – partly due to its plans to electrify big polluting sites, like Herøya.

And that's going to translate into higher power costs for people who live here:

higher demand will put higher pressure on limited supply.

That's a major point of concern for Norwegian voters – who are already paying more due to the European energy crisis.

Building new infrastructure to power that new demand can be problematic too, according to the industrial area's director.

(Sverre Gotaas, Heroeya Industrial Area Director)

"What we actually need is more power lines and, you know, power lines are always troublesome because people tend not to like to have them in the backyard, and so it's the same in this area. So we have to convince the locals that we need these power lines and we need about five times more power than we have today. That's quite enormous."

The issue illustrates a conflict at the heart of environmentalism:

the desire to electrify everything...

versus the desire to protect nature from the negative impact of new infrastructure.

Onshore wind farms in particular have faced opposition across the country.

Indigenous and environmental campaigners – including Greta Thunberg – recently protested against 151 new turbines built on land used by Sami reindeer herders.

Meanwhile, options to expand green hydropower are limited – and plans to build offshore wind farms have stirred controversy about exporting power.

Insiders say right now, there's insufficient electricity supply and grid capacity to power full-scale electrification.

And some industry experts say that companies could start to look to other countries with cheaper electricity.

But the government says it is committed to stopping Norway from becoming a net power importer...

It's also ready to limit supply to other countries if needed.

For now - it's launching its first-ever offshore wind licensing round this year - and is making changes to build onshore wind turbines faster.