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NORA at Arctic Circle 2016

Should the North Atlantic islands connect with each other and the rest of Europa via subsea cables to boost green energy development? Building the North Atlantic Energy Network project that received funding from NORA, we host a plenary and breakout session addressing the topic at the 2016 Arctic Circle Assembly in Reykjavik, Iceland, on October 9.

Growing global energy demand has contributed to increasing interest in the Arctic. Previously, petroleum has been prominent in Arctic energy discussions, but the Arctic also has an abundance of underutilized renewable energy sources such as hydro, wind, solar, thermal and tidal. To realize this potential, improved infrastructure is necessary, and an export outlet will be necessary. Interconnectors could possibly be a solution.

The North Atlantic Energy Network project, partly funded by NORA, has looked at the possibilities for connecting the North Atlantic islands with each other and the larger European market. The subsea cable technology required to build interconnectors in the North Atlantic already exists, but the realization of such projects in the North Atlantic will be expensive and depends on political will.

Therefore, with the ongoing green energy acceleration, it is interesting and timely, particularly in a post-Paris agreement context, to discuss the benefits and challenges in developing interconnectors to exploit the Arctic’s green energy potential.

The sessions are organised in cooperation with the Bellona Foundation.

Programme for NORA sessions at Arctic Circle

Plenary session at 14.55-15.30, Sunday October 9, 2016

Hallstein Havåg, Director of Policy and Research, the Bellona Foundation, Norway

Ragnheiður Elín Árnadóttir, Minister for Industry and Commerce, Iceland

Angus MacNeil MP, Chair of Select Committee on Energy and Climate Change, House of Commons, UK

Breakout session at 16.30-18.30, Sunday October 9, 2016

Moderator: Bogi Bech Jensen, President of Glasir – Tórshavn College, Faroe Islands, Professor of energy engineering.

Erla Björk Þorgeirsdóttir, Project Manager, Orkustofnun – National Energy Authority, Iceland:

Key findings from North Atlantic Energy Network project.

Björgvin Skúli Sigurðsson, Executive Vice President, Marketing and Business Development, Landsvirkjun – National Power Company, Iceland:

IceLink benefits and challenges.

Meinhard Eliasen, Energy Adviser at the Faroese Enviornment Agency:

The Faroese connection – benefits and challenges.

Sigurd Enge, Manager, Shipping, marine and the Arctic, the Bellona Foundation, Norway:

Renewable energy and grid development in the Arctic: the Svalbard Case. 

Anders Kofoed-Wiuff, Partner, Ea Energy Analysis, Denmark:

The role of interconnectors in the low carbon transition.

Magni Laksáfoss, Managing Director, VITorka and MP in the Faroese Parliament:

An economist’s view on utilising green energy in Faroe Islands.

Panel discussion

Angus MacNeil MP, Chair of Select Committee on Energy and Climate Change, UK.

Erla Björk Þorgeirsdóttir, Project Manager, National Energy Authority, Iceland.

Magni Laksafoss, Managing Director VITorka and MP, Faroe Islands.

Anders Kofoed-Wiuff, Partner, Ea Energy Analysis, Denmark.

Hallstein Havåg, Director of Policy and Research, the Bellona Foundation, Norway.


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