The Norwegian government is considering creating a state-owned hydrogen energy company or expanding existing state businesses’ ventures into hydrogen to drive green energy investment.
He said a new state-owned company, along with expanding other government-owned energy firms investments into hydrogen were ways of achieving more investment in green energy in Norway.
“A state-owned company is not a goal for us, but a means. We only use it as long as it is meaningful,” he said.
He added that Equinor and Statkraft were both possible candidates for increased investment into hydrogen energy. The government owns 67 percent of Equinor and 100 percent of Statkraft.
Both companies confirmed they have been in dialogue with the government regarding investments in hydrogen.
The climate minister said a state-owned hydrogen company would also help pull everyone in a greener direction.
“When you really want to carry out a full decarbonisation, you must have energy sources other than oil, gas and coal,” Eidie said, adding Norway would be able to make both green and blue hydrogen energy.
Blue hydrogen is obtained by splitting natural gas into hydrogen and carbon and capture the greenhouse gases, mitigating the environmental impact on the planet.
Green hydrogen is hydrogen fuel created in plants that use entirely renewable energy sources. So far, only 1 percent of hydrogen is produced this way.
Last week trade minister Jan Christian Vestre said that a state-owned hydrogen firm, in the long run, could have a similar impact on the country as Equinor had.
“I have great faith in the state as an entrepreneur, and we also have a history in Norway where state-owned companies become very profitable so that the community gets its fair share of profits. Equinor is a good example of this,” he told trade union newspaper Klassekampen.
Norway puts its oil revenues into the Government Pension Fund, the largest sovereign wealth fund in the world. In simple terms, the Government Pension Fund, or oil fund, is a giant savings pot that acts as a source of government funding.