Amid international tensions and unstable energy markets, DNV released an outlook providing “useful tool for industries, business and not least, politicians,” according to Norway’s Minister of Petroleum and Energy Terje Aasland.

“This is perhaps the most important outlook so far,” Aasland told participants speaking at the DNV launch of the sixth annual Energy Transition Outlook.


Denmark Provides Decarbonization Blueprint for Energy Transition

“Energy markets are changing. Technologies are changing. Climate is changing. The world needs reliable energy supplies, and we need to find solutions across borders,” he said. “This is not the time for fixed energy policies as we plan for the present and future. Though there are many paths, we can all agree on the destination.”

Aasland talked about several areas where he believes Norway can continue to lead in the energy transition.

“We have stored CO2 under the seabed in Norway for more than 25 years. We know it works. We know it’s safe, and the Norwegian government is firmly committed to developing a robust value chain for CCS [carbon capture and storage] in Norway and hopefully abroad,” he said.

The country also is well positioned to help establish hydrogen value chains, “with a high renewable share in the electricity mix and the production of natural gas close to the European market,” Aasland added.

As progress is being made in these areas, oil and gas will continue to play a role in the energy mix to 2050, and Norway will remain a stable and predictable supplier through the energy transition.

Offshore competence and know-how from the oil and gas sector will contribute on our pathway to net zero,” he said.

Terje Aasland, Norway Prime Minister of Petroleum and Energy
(Source: Naina Helen Jåma / NTB Kommunikasjon)

“Offshore competence and knowhow from the oil and gas sector will contribute on our pathway to net zero.” – Terje Aasland, Norway Minister of Petroleum and Energy

Role of Fossil Fuels

Helle Kristoffersen, president of strategy and sustainability at TotalEnergies SE, agreed that while developing renewable energy is critical, there is a continuing need for fossil fuels.

“We still need the old system, like it or not, because it does power the world, households and industries,” she said. “We cannot afford to lose focus with respect to climate change. At the same time, people need affordable and secure energy here and now.”

Fossil fuel prices have gone up in part because the sector has been collectively underinvesting, she said. This is due partly to a dearth of good projects and partly because of investor pressure and regulations.

“Demand doesn’t change overnight,” she said, “and we need to support the existing energy system. If we underinvest in oil and demand is still high, the price increases. This is a reality of the business.”

In effect, TotalEnergies is now in the position of investing in two systems at the same time, “the old one that is powering the world” and “the transition to the green energy system,” she explained. This dual investment requires a sizable financial commitment.

“We are investing, we hope wisely, in today’s energies to avoid stranded assets, and we are accelerating our investment in green energy for tomorrow,” Kristoffersen said.

The company’s new capital budget is proof of TotalEnergies’ commitment. “We are investing between $14 and $18 billion/year, which of course is massive,” she said, noting that a bigger share of the larger pie, one-third, will go to the energy transition businesses.

“We see great opportunities in clean and green power and also over time in new molecules,” Kristoffersen said.

Although she does not think hydrogen is “ready for prime time,” she is positive about investing in CCS, which she said is “absolutely key” in the pursuit of net-zero emissions. She cautioned, however, that storage needs to be long-lasting.

“We have to worry about liabilities, and we have to worry about protocols to transport carbon from one country to another,” she said.

Regardless of the hurdles, TotalEnergies is committed to advancing CCS solution. “We certainly believe we need it. You can count us in on that,” she said.

Renewables Buildout

DVN Energy Transition Outlook panel
Panelists share insights about priorities for achieving a net-zero future, focusing on new technologies, increased investment and a shared commitment to a common goal. (Source: DNV)

Yngve Slyngstad, CEO of Aker Asset Management, supported Kristoffersen’s stance on the need for continuing to fund oil and gas initiatives while investing in renewables.

“We cannot simply stop oil and gas and build something else,” he said. “We need to build to replace it.”

Though the energy transition is necessary, Slyngstad said, it is not shielded from wider developments in the market.

“Energy is a long-dated asset. There are changes in demand and supply, and energy is as much exposed as anything,” he said.

The last 12 months have been difficult, and the problems are not easily solved. Fortunately, in the longer term, wind and solar are attractive, and investors are interested.

“There is a big trend in regard to electrification because it reduces energy inefficiency,” he said. “Investors aren’t looking at the commodity aspect of electricity but what it will do for the economy. Investors looking at long horizon are more positive about investing in this space.”

Henrik Andersen, group president and CEO of Vestas, a Denmark-based sustainable energy solutions company, emphasized focus on the value of renewables and the need to avoid distractions that could delay achieving long-term, carbon-reduction objectives.

“Looking at it right now, it’s a fossil fuel crisis,” Andersen said, “and the buildout to compensate can only happen through renewables.”

Over the last 10 years, renewable solutions have lowered the cost of energy, he said. “We can build wind, solar and others in competition with gas, oil and nuclear,” he explained, but to reach Paris Agreement targets, more companies in more countries need to expedite the transition away from fossil fuels.


Andersen is concerned that change is happening too slowly. As an example, he pointed to an EU target of producing 31 GW of power from renewables by 2021. Only 17% of that amount comes from renewables today.

“That’s not half good,” he said. “That’s incredibly poor.”

Despite this assessment, Andersen said he is an optimist.

“There is a lot of capital that wants to find a new home,” he said, “and renewables projects have never been so attractive.”

Achieving sustainability is predicated on establishing a sustainable financial model, he said, adding that the consumer is best served by a solution that will be in place over the long term.

“We owe it to our generation to make progress,” Andersen said. “I have two daughters, 20 and 23 years old. They won’t forgive me in 10 years’ time if we don’t get much more forward and much more accelerated in this.”