A stable energy supply is a prerequisite for business development and job creation, and thus central to eradicating poverty.
Hydropower is the most important source of energy for electric power, both in northern Norway and on a national basis. In recent years, several new energy sources have been added, such as geothermal and wind power. While hydropower accounted for 92 of all electrical energy production in 2010, it accounted for 88 percent in 2019.
In northern Norway, the production of electric power is higher than consumption, but where there are large differences between the counties. Both Finnmark, and especially Troms, consume more than they produce, and must therefore import power. Nordland, on the other hand, has a power surplus, and consumes around two thirds of the production. The rest is exported out of the county. In the period 2010-2019, consumption has also increased in all three northernmost counties and on a national basis, but where the increase has been greatest in Finnmark by 20 per cent.
The distribution of power between the various consumer groups has remained relatively stable in the period 2010-2019. In 2019, more than a third of power consumption went to power-intensive industry, and more than a quarter went to households and agriculture. In addition, much of the consumption went to various buildings and construction projects, and to mining.
It is the households in Finnmark that use the most electric power, followed by Troms and Nordland. All counties are well above the national average. In the period 2010-2019, electricity consumption also increased in households in Finnmark and Nordland. In Troms and on a national basis, electricity consumption decreased.
Low winter temperatures together with longer winters help to explain that electricity consumption in northern Norway is higher than on a national basis. The same factors help to explain the differences within the region.