Enova provides funding and advice for energy and climate projects, and helps both companies and individual households. It is wholly owned by the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy. Funding for projects is drawn from the Energy Fund, which Enova manages on the basis of four-year rolling agreements with the Ministry. Capital totalling about NOK 2.6 billion is transferred to the fund each year, including about NOK 630 million per year from an earmarked levy on the grid tariff. These financial arrangements make it possible for Enova to be a predictable and flexible source of funding for projects.
Enova shall contribute to reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, improved security of energy supply, and technology development which will bring about reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in the longer term.
Enova shall promote:
- reductions in greenhouse gas emissions which will contribute towards Norway’s emission reduction commitment for 2030;
- greater innovation in energy and climate technology which is adapted to the transition to a low-emission society;
- improved security of supply through flexible and efficient use of energy and peak load capacity.
Enova shall establish instruments with the aim of bringing about lasting changes in the market. Energy-efficient and climate-friendly solutions should in the long term be the preferred solutions without government support. Enova may support projects in all sectors.
From 2017, Enova’s focus has been shifted more towards climate-related activities and innovation, in line with the new agreement for the period 2017–2020.
This means that there will be a greater emphasis on reducing emissions from the transport sector and other sectors that are not part of the emissions trading system, and on innovative solutions adapted to a low-emission society. The new agreement between Enova and the Ministry gives higher priority to reducing and eliminating barriers to new technologies and to promoting permanent market change. This means that in the long term, energy-efficient and climate-friendly solutions should succeed in the market without government support.
The agreement grants Enova a wide degree of freedom to develop tools, set priorities for different sectors and allocate support to individual projects. Enova makes use of its expertise and experience from various markets to design its programmes to address the most important barriers to the introduction and deployment of energy and climate solutions and bring about permanent change.
Enova’s support falls into one of two main categories: technology development and market change. Enova’s programmes deal with technologies and solutions at various stages of maturity. During the innovation process from technology development to market introduction, shown by the red line in the figure below, the goal is to reduce costs and the level of technological risk. Once a solution is technologically mature and ready for market roll-out, the goal is to achieve widespread deployment and market take-up, as shown by the green line in the figure.
It is always necessary to overcome various market barriers as a solution proceeds through technology development and market introduction. Enova seeks to identify the most important of these, and designs its programmes for the introduction and deployment of energy and climate solutions to lower such barriers.
It is important to remember that new energy and climate technology developed for example in Norway can also play a part in cutting greenhouse gas emissions at global level when deployed widely enough. Investment in new technology and innovation often carries a high level of investment risk. Using public funding to reduce risk is an important strategy, because a new technology often provides greater benefits for society than for individual investors. Enova therefore supports pilot and demonstration projects and full-scale introduction of energy and climate technologies. This helps to lay the basis for a more energy-efficient and climate-friendly business sector in the transition to a low-emission society.
It generally takes time for a new technology or solution to become established and diffuse through the market. The reasons for the delay may vary. New technology that will bring about cuts in greenhouse gas emissions or make energy use more efficient should be deployed as soon as possible, in the widest possible range of applications and by as many people as possible. Possible barriers to the spread of new technology and products include a lack of information, scepticism to new and relatively untried solutions, and prices. Enova’s programmes for market change are designed to reduce these and other barriers and thus promote permanent market change.
- Fast-charging infrastructure for electric vehicles: NOK 50.5 million allocated through three rounds of competitive bidding. So far funding has been provided for 230 charging stations along Norway’s main roads. Enova has designed the scheme so that it supports the market for charging services and reduces the barriers that have been identified.
- Zero- and low-emission ferries: NOK 480 million allocated to Hordaland, Møre og Romsdal and Sør-Trøndelag counties for the development of charging infrastructure for ferries. This is expected to result in an increase in the number of battery electric and plug-in hybrid ferries, which have considerably lower emissions than conventional ferries.
- Energy-efficient production of solar cell silicon: NOK 25.6 million to Elkem Solar and NOK 29 million to Norsum to improve the energy efficiency of production processes for silicon. Energy-efficient production processes are vital in the transition to a low-emission society.
- Innovative postal and logistics centre: NOK 14.2 million to Norway Post to deploy energy-efficient and innovative solutions at the new logistics centre in Trondheim. In a low-emission society, buildings must use energy more efficiently and put less pressure on the energy supply system.