Trends in energy use

Most of the rise in energy use after 1990 took place before 2000. Up to 1999, there was a steady rise in energy use in all sectors of the mainland economy. Since then, household energy use has levelled off , and energy use in manufacturing has declined.

Final energy consumption

Updated: 24.02.2021

Final energy consumption in Norway. Total in 1990: 185 TWh; in 2019: 213,8 TWh.

Source: Statistics Norway

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Final energy consumption – Final energy consumption in Norway. Total in 1990: 185 TWh; in 2019: 213,8 TWh.

Two main factors explain these trends. Firstly, the economy as a whole has shifted towards less energy-intensive activities, which require less energy per unit produced. The service sector has grown, and manufacturing accounts for a smaller share of the economy.

Secondly, energy use has become more efficient. Technological developments have given us more efficient machinery and equipment, there has been a switch from fossil energy sources to electricity, and targeted action has been taken to improve energy efficiency. All of these factors have moderated growth in energy use.

The growth of the economy as a whole, and particularly the rise in private consumption, has resulted in rising energy use for the transport of people and goods. There has been a steady rise in energy use in the transport sector since 1990, in contrast to the situation in other sectors. In 2017, energy use for transport was 30 % higher than in 1990. However, wider use of diesel and technological advances have made energy use more efficient. Energy use measured per person-kilometre and per tonne-kilometre was lower in 2017 than in 1990.

The overall result is that the Norwegian economy has become gradually less energy-intensive over the past  years. The figure below shows that the energy intensity of the Norwegian economy has declined by more than 40 % from 1990 to 2020. This indicates that economic growth and energy use have become less tightly coupled.

Updated: 24.11.2023