Solar power capacity in Norway increased by 40% last year

Solar powerPhoto: Zbynek Burival / Unsplash

Solar power capacity connected to the Norwegian power grid increased by almost 40% in 2020. At that time, around 40 megawatts of new solar power were installed in the country.

Figures from Elhub show that solar cells with a total capacity of 39 megawatts were connected to the Norwegian power grid last year. 

In addition, the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE) estimates that around 1 megawatt was installed with stand-alone photovoltaic systems, which takes the total up to 40 megawatts during the year.

That is a decrease of 10 megawatts from the record year 2019, the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE) wrote in a press release.

Director of the Energy and Licensing Department at NVE, Inga Nordberg, says the decline is due to a combination of several things, including the corona pandemic.

“When the pandemic hit Norway hard in March, activity in the solar power market fell. In addition, 2020 was a year of very low electricity prices, which also typically dampens measures that reduce electricity costs in buildings. We believe that the growth we have seen in recent years will pick up again and continue in the coming years,” Nordberg noted.

With 40 megawatts of new solar power, the total was around 160 megawatts at the end of 2020. Almost 90% of this was connected to the Norwegian electricity grid.


The NVE writes that updated estimates of the costs for various types of power production show that solar power will be able to compete on price with both wind power and hydropower in 2030.

“Based on what we see around us and how technology is evolving, and how costs are falling, we believe that solar power will also have a greater role in Norway. If the development continues, solar power could become an important piece to cover the increased electricity demand by 2040,” Nordberg said.

In a long-term power market analysis from last year, the NVE assumed that power production in Norway would increase by around 20 terawatt-hours (TWh) from 2022 to 2040, divided into 7 TWh from hydropower, 6 TWh from wind power, and 7 TWh from solar power.

Need for better data

The NVE emphasized that there is a need for better data to better understand the role of solar power in the power system. The data NVE receives from state-owned Elhub may contain gaps.

“For hydropower and wind power, we get good data through the licensing process. The vast majority of hydropower plants and wind power plants built in Norway must get a license from us, so we get a very good overview. This does not apply to solar power,” Nordberg added.

When solar power becomes a larger part of Norway’s power supply, better data will be needed, the NVE director noted.

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews

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