Moderate growth in energy consumption

The growth in the overall energy consumption in Norway has been moderate in the last decade, with a 3 per cent increase from 1998 to 2008. From 2007 to 2008, the consumption rose by scarcely 1 per cent. A larger increase in the oil price than in the electricity price led to higher electricity consumption while oil consumption fell.

The increase in energy consumption in 2008 is partly due to higher consumption of energy commodities used for non-energy purposes due to the start-up of a large anode factory, among other things. Energy consumption excluding non-energy use rose by only 0.1 per cent from the previous year. “Non-energy use” is defined as energy commodities that are not used for energy purposes, such as LPG used as input in the production of industrial chemicals, or coal and coke used as input (not fuel) in the production of mineral products or iron or steel.

Modest growth over time

Seen over a longer period, the growth in energy consumption has been relatively modest in spite of growth in the economy and the population, which generally means greater needs for energy. Since 1998, the energy consumption rose by 3 per cent. Energy used for transport purposes had the highest increase in the period 1998-2008, with 16 per cent, while consumption in manufacturing industries and other sectors was somewhat reduced. The decline in other sectors can be related to a warmer climate, increasing energy prices and energy use being more efficient than before.

Variance from the normal temperature measured in degrees Celsius, and percentage change in total energy consumption per household since 1990. 1990-2008

Since 1990, it is only in 1996 that the average temperature has been lower than normal. For the remainder of the years, it has been somewhat warmer than normal compared to the climatic normal for the period 1961-1990. In 2008 and 2007, the temperature was 1.4 and 1.3oC above normal respectively. Better insulation in buildings, more energy efficient white goods, machinery, electrical equipment and cars and more heat pumps will also limit the growth in the energy consumption. The households’ total energy consumption dropped by 3 per cent from 1998 to 2008, while energy consumption per household fell by 14 per cent in the same period. The latter can also be related to structural changes, for instance that more people are living alone. From 2007 to 2008, the households’ total energy consumption fell by about 1 per cent.

Higher energy prices

The price of heating oil rose considerably from 2007 to 2008. Measured in firm 1998 prices, the price of heating oil doubled from 1998 to 2008. The electricity price also rose in 2008, and came to 89 øre/kWh in current prices for households, but nevertheless it was cheaper to use electricity than heating oil. The households reduced their consumption of both oil and electricity compared to the previous year, but oil products fell mostly. Consumption of district heating rose, but this made up only 1.6 per cent of the household consumption in 2008, and about 1 per cent of overall consumption.

Prices incl. all taxes for utilised energy. Electricity prices for households, prices for light heating oil#1 and list prices for heating kerosene#2. Øre/kWh.1993-2008

Domestic final energy consumption except use for non-energy purposes and transport. Total and by energy source. 1976-2008. Peta Joule

Electricity consumption makes up about half of our energy consumption, and this rose by about 1 per cent from 2007 to 2008. Consumption of oil products (except petroleum coke) fell by 4 per cent from the previous year if non-energy use is included, and by 2 per cent if non-energy use is excluded.

Lower consumption in refineries

The consumption in manufacturing industries rose by about 1 per cent from 2007 to 2008, but consumption in refineries, which is included in the energy sector in the balance sheet, dropped significantly by about 12 per cent. Energy consumption for transport purposes was almost unchanged from the pervious year. Energy consumption in fishing and agriculture dropped by about 2 per cent from 2007 to 2008, while consumption to other consumers (private and public services, defence and construction) rose somewhat by 0.2 per cent. It can be assumed that the consumption in industries was affected by the production development related to the financial crisis in 2008, and that it rose lower than it otherwise would have done.

High energy consumption in energy producing industries and in foreign transport

Due to comprehensive energy production in Norway, a large part of the energy consumption takes place in the energy sector. Within oil and gas extraction, the energy consumption made up about 52 TWh energy (mainly natural gas and electricity), while an additional 9 TWh was flared off. Together, this makes up 61 TWh, which is higher than the energy used for domestic transport purposes. Furthermore, about 11 TWh was used in foreign aviation and shipping, which is energy delivered from Norwegian harbours and airports and used in transport abroad.

Energy consumption by sector, except the energy sectors and ocean transport. 1976-2008. Peta Joule

More electric cars

The number of electric cars has increased in the past year, and came to 1 750 cars in 2008. The average mileage was about 6 600 km per year according to the vehicle register. Calculated electricity consumption, based on an assumed consumption on 0.18 kWh /km, was about 2 GWh in 2008. The cars can be charged at home, at public charge stations or in companies. About 80 per cent of the cars are privately owned. It is difficult to separate this consumption from other electricity consumption, but it can be assumed that a significant part of this is included in the households’ electricity consumption.

Read more at Statistics Norway.

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