|Hywind — the world’s first full-scale floating wind turbine offshore.
Nordic firms revolutionize eco-friendly industries
Norwegian companies have led by example with its highly specialized industries that drive national innovations and revolutionize key industrial sectors. A high standard of living along with stable social and economic conditions characterize the nation, which ranked number one on the United Nations’ Human Development Index from 2009 to 2011.
This energetic country is harnessing its significant energy reserves and capacities while maintaining itself as a center for culture and arts in northern Europe. The finest opera companies tour the Oslo Opera House, and the Norwegian Opera and Ballet. The national economy provides the best atmosphere for innovations in offshore energy, which can then be applied all over the globe.
China is the most important Norwegian trading partner in Asia as relations date back to when both countries were opening up to global markets. The Norwegian shipping industry has held strong bonds with China for over 100 years representing one of the oldest trade relations in the world.
Norway, which was part of Sweden at the time, sent its first diplomatic delegation to Guangdong province in 1851. Prosperous relations have grown ever since.
On the business front, numerous opportunities for investments, partnerships and cooperation in such areas as renewable energy, environmental technology, maritime systems, oil-and-gas and hydropower have arisen.
Common green interests
Norwegian industrial output has increased by 7 percent in 2011. The Federation of Norwegian Industries says this was in large part due to demand from Asia, especially China. This trade has given Norway easier circumstances to deal with the economic crises of 2008.
During the current unstable global economic situation, Norway and China are pursuing their growth momentum to help populations, industries and the environment.
Even though Norway and China are located far apart geographically and size-wise, many challenges that lie ahead for both countries are similar and so are many of their solutions.
China aspires to supply its population with clean renewable energy, which has already been put into action and the nation is the world’s largest installer of wind turbines. Meanwhile, Norway hosts some of the worlds most advanced companies in the sector, such as Scatec Solar and Vestavind Offshore. They are leading with global advances to harness solar, wind and tidal energy more efficiently both on and off shore.
Both countries are addressing significant challenges that include climate change and the necessity for sustainable energy while offering new applications for a wide range of other industries.
Norway has been well regarded for its advances in hydropower with more than a century of continued usage and innovations. It is Norway that ranks as the sixth largest producer of hydropower in the world.
“Particularly within hydropower I believe there is great potential for collaboration with Chinese companies — this is really where the new era of partnerships can begin,” said Jan Soppeland, CEO of Greater Stavanger.
New discoveries bring optimism
In August 2011, Norway made a major oil discovery in the North Sea, which has not been seen since the mid-1980s. It might lead the country and the oil-and-gas industry into a new golden age.
As global demand for energy is growing, Norway has taken a leading position with its underwater drilling technology, equipment and adapted vessels.
“Norway is still the largest global offshore market and in the next four years revenues will amount to about $170 billion. China plays an important role,” said Gulbrand Wangen, director of Norwegian Oil and Gas Partners, a company promoting the oil and gas industry.
Forty years of recovering oil and gas from the Norwegian continental shelf in some of the harshest conditions in which men and machines work has resulted in valuable experiences and knowledge that has driven for new designs.
“Some technology is so advanced that it compares to NASA’s outer space equipment. Norwegian competence in technological operational concepts stands unmatched,” said Sturla Henriksen, director general of the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association.
“Our association’s relations with China have been fruitful over the years and we hope the bond and business relations will strengthen in 2012 and beyond.”
More aspects tie Norway and China together than separate them. Mutual exploration and shared cooperation in green energy can benefit the entire world as well.