Country: Norway

Document type: National Strategy

Title: The Norwegian Government’s Hydrogen Strategy

Released: June 2020

Summary Points:

  • The Strategy (presented on 3 June 2020) closely follows (and makes references to) the COVID-19 support measures presented on 29 May 2020, which included a Green Transition Package (NOK3.6 billion or USD370 million) to support green technologies with hydrogen, amongst others, emphasised.
  • As Norway has considerable hydro-electric and natural gas resource, both green and blue hydrogen (the latter derived from natural gas with carbon capture and storage) are acknowledged.
  • The maritime sector, along with heavy transportation and industrial processes, are suggested as the most relevant sectors for the use of hydrogen (there being few or no low-emission alternative).
  • A key element of the Strategy is to increase the number of pilot and demonstration projects in Norway (hence contributing to technology development and commercialisation).
  • A range of policy measure are touted as supporting this goal:
    • In the support package of 29 May 2020, NOK120 million is proposed to be allocated to the ENERGIX-programme operating under the Norwegian Research Council (NRC).
    • The NRC, Innovation Norway and the state enterprise Enova contribute to development and demonstration through joint calls in the PILOT-E programme.
    • Through the Zero Emissions Fund, Enova contributes to the introduction of hydrogen solutions for vehicles and vessels used by business (Enova funding is to be increased under the Green Transition Package).
    • Also under the Green Transition Package, it is planned to increase funding by NOK20 million to support development of high-speed low-emissions vessels under the “Klimasats” funding facility.
  • The Strategy notes that pricing of emissions through national and EU quota systems can contribute to incentivising development of low-emission technologies.

In June 2021, as part of the White Paper Putting Energy to Work -Long-Term Value Creation from Norwegian Energy Resources, the Norwegian government published a road map for hydrogen (as at July 2021, available only in Norwegian).

  • In the short-term, the main ambition is the establishment of maritime-related hydrogen hubs and increased hydrogen research.
  • In the medium term – up to 2030 – the ambition is that hydrogen will be established as a realistic alternative in the maritime sector, with prospects for wider market-based development.

Official media releases and press reporting indicate the following key areas in the roadmap:

  • In the period to 2025, the government, in cooperation with the private sector, would seek to facilitate:
    • The establishment of five hydrogen hubs in the area of maritime transport.
    • Strive for the establishment of one or two industrial projects with associated production facilities.
    • Implement five to ten pilot projects to develop/demonstrate new, more-effective hydrogen technologies.
  • Strengthen research and development through the establishment of a research centre for environmentally friendly energy (FME) with a focus on hydrogen and ammonia.
  • Contribute to a 2030 hydrogen development that makes possible:
    • A network of geographically dispersed and demand-based hydrogen hubs in line with the supply of vessels and vehicles.
    • Hydrogen vessels that are a competitive alternative for shipping in Norwegian waters and short-sea shipping areas.
    • The realisation of large-scale hydrogen projects in industrial applications with significant diversification potential.
    • That use of hydrogen is a competitive alternative to fossil energy thereby supporting development of a hydrogen market in Europe through exports of goods and services.
  • Undertake an assessment of instruments such as ‘Contracts for Difference’ in support of large-scale hydrogen production and use.

According to press reports, funding for the development of hydrogen infrastructure and markets rose to NOK 185 million (€18.4 million) in the revised 2021 budget (issued May 2021) from NOK 100 million (€10 million) in the original 2021 state budget (issued October 2021). In the revised 2021 budget, an additional NOK 15 million (€1.5 million) would support establishment of the above noted FME research centre, which is set to receive NOK 30 million per annum (€3 million per annum) for eight years from 2022 onwards.

These press reports also indicate that infrastructure development will be partly managed by Enova SF, a state enterprise owned by the Ministry of Climate and Environment, which will manage pilot technology development projects as well as the creation of geographical hubs and supply chains for commercial hydrogen.

In March 2022, the Minister of Petroleum and Energy announced an investment of NOK 200 million over eight years from the Research Council of Norway to HYDROGENi, a research centre for environmentally friendly energy (FME) dedicated to hydrogen and ammonia. The announcement noted that HYDROGENi would be the largest ever academic research programme established in an FME. Industry forms a significant part of the HYDROGENi’s consortium; its activities will be a collaboration between 50 Norwegian and European partners who together represent the entire value chain for hydrogen. The 2022 HYDROGENi Annual Report notes a total budget of that the NOK 530 million over its scheduled eight-year life, of which NOK 200 million is from the Research Council of Norway, with the remaining funding contributed by its partners.

In January 2023, Germany and Norway issued a Joint Statement on Hydrogen Cooperation (part of a wider Joint Declaration on German-Norwegian Partnership on Climate, Renewable Energy and Green Industry) confirming a common intent to ensure a large-scale supply of hydrogen with the necessary infrastructure from Norway to Germany by 2030. The two countries commissioned a joint feasibility study to assess large-scale transport of hydrogen from Norway to Germany, and CO2-transport from Germany to Norway. A hydrogen value chain summary report of the German-Norway Energy Cooperation Joint Feasibility Study was released in November 2023.

Coincident to this bilateral strategic partnership initiative, RWE AG and Equinor AS announced a strategic energy partnership, including plans to jointly invest in flexible hydrogen-ready gas-fired power plants in Germany with a total capacity of 3 gigawatts by 2030 (the investments being contingent on the construction of a hydrogen pipeline between Norway and Germany and a German hydrogen downstream infrastructure).

In December 2023, Fortescue / EC announced the signing of a grant agreement (of €203,766,000) awarded to the Holmaneset Green Ammonia Project in Norway.


Updated: January 2024