Increasing interest in solar energy in Norway

In terms of utilization of solar energy - both solar cells and solar collectors - Norway is behind its neighbouring countries. However at present there is an increasing focus on solar energy in Norway, with the building sector being the driving force in this development. This is taking place in spite of relatively poor national subsidies.

The headline "The largest Solar Energy System in Norway"has reappeared on several occasions lately. The latest in these record breaking systems was Asko Vestby with a 370kWp solar cell system which supplies electricity to their own warehouse. Due to the realization of 150kWp solar cells, Fornebu S recently became the first shopping center to be awarded a BREEAM Outstanding Certificate. With the goal of becoming the world's most environmentally-friendly office building Power House, has installed a 312kWp solar cell system. Within the field of thermal solar energy, Akershus Energi employs approximately 13 000 m2 solar collectors to supply heat to their district heating system.

Traditionally solar cells off-grid have been used in wooden cabins and light houses in Norway. On the contrary grid-connected systems have been practically unknown. However an increasing number of these systems, built by professionals, are currently beginning to appear in Norway. The aim is often to develop near-zero energy building in addition to gaining experience in solar energy.

At present solar energy is still not frequently used in Norway and there are relatively poor national subsidies. Furthermore solar energy knowledge in the country is limited. However the latest developments in solar energy have resulted in a good deal of positive attention among the general public. As a result of good examples knowledge regarding solar cells and solar collectors is increasing. This positive trend is driven by the building sector. 

Solar energy can become an important energy source and attractive option in the building sector in Norway.

The largest solar cell system in Norway of 370kWp was built this autumn 2014 (photo courtesy of Sørensen)
The largest solar cell system in Norway of 370kWp was built this autumn 2014 (photo courtesy of Sørensen)

This article was written by Ms. Ase Lekang Sorensen, General secretary of the Norwegian Solar Energy Society (NSES).

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