Could ethos be our next export success?

Norwegian solar energy companies are able to deliver the cleanest wafers in the world, as hydro power is used in the production process. But the asset we tend to forget, looking at what is needed at a solar power plant, is the ethos of Norwegian businesses. 

Tekst: Lill-Torunn Kilde
Photo: NorSun

The topic was discussed at the International Solar Day conference yesterday, arranged by Norwegian Energy Partners (NORWEP), the Norwegian Solar Energy Cluster, Multiconsult and Export Credit Norway.

NorSun in Årdal is manufacturing wafers with the lowest CO2 footprint in the world, according to French authorities. The wafers are therefore more and more competitive as tenders develop in a sustainable direction. Thank you, hydropower.

But Kate Bragg, senior strategy advisor in Statkraft, argued that we tend to underestimate our project management skills, our sustainability in a broad sense and our good work ethics and values. And we have an extensive experience of managing risks. What we tend to look at as soft skills, could therefore become a business opportunity, she pointed out in her presentation.

Norwegians are also known to be early adapters of new technology, exemplified by our early use of electric vehicles, machine learning and digitalization in control systems, as also NorSun emphasized in their presentation. Kate Bragg from Statkraft argued that Norway was in the right position to take an international position as a testbed for new technology.

Oliver Knight, senior energy specialist at The World Bank, emphasized the demand for floating solar installations in countries where land is scarce, and pointed out the opportunity this represents for Norway, with our history of solving challenges in harsh marine environments. The Norwegian company Ocean Sun is already picking up the challenge.

Summing up it seems that quality, ethos and sustainability might be some of our best cards to play in the battle for a clean energy driven world. Coupled with what we already know we are good at; pioneering in general and marine- and offshore technology.

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