ETN: Six years of collaboration and progress

ETN Technical Committee head reflects on the origins and progress of Energy Transition Norway

Karianne Skjæveland
Communication Manager
May 13, 2024

Last month Energy Transition Norway (ETN) proudly announced a significant milestone in our journey: the successful completion of 18 months of testing for Arda Energy. This achievement not only highlights the progress of Arda Energy but is also a testimony to the collaborative efforts fostered by ETN in advancing innovative energy transition projects.

Arda Energy, formerly known as Agri-e, emerged as the inaugural cluster project under ETN's umbrella upon the organization's establishment in 2018. As such, this milestone signifies the beginning of ETN's journey and our commitment to driving transformative change in the energy sector.

Reflecting on the origins of ETN, Oddvar Skjæveland, head of ETN's technical committee, sheds light on the circumstances that led to the cluster's inception.

– In 2016 amidst a downturn in the oil and gas industry, widespread layoffs and declining results motivated action. Central figures in the supply industry recognized the need for unity, laying the groundwork for ETN's formation in 2018, recalls Skjæveland.

Rogaland, with its historically independent mindset, had not previously emphasized on a collaboration platform in the oil and gas sector or elsewhere. However, as an industry faced with unprecedented challenges, discussions surrounding the formation of an industrial cluster gained momentum.

While the industry in Rogaland had thrived independently up until then, the concept of collaboration gained traction when faced with the challenges of the energy transition.

– It was this shift in mindset that paved the way for the establishment of Norwegian Energy Solutions, now Energy Transition Norway (ETN), explains Skjæveland.

Alongside key stakeholders such as Birger Haraldseid from what was then called Greater Stavanger, a representative from the University of Stavanger, and a local government official, he took the lead and initiated the establishment of the cluster.

Egil Aanestad was appointed as the managing director, with Tor Arnesen proposed as chairman. With a combined 60 years of management experience in major companies on the Norwegian Continental Shelf, the two had the network necessary to succeed with this idea and set the stage for ETN's inception.

– We were determined to go beyond the traditional networking events and information sharing that characterizes cluster organizations in Norway, states Skjæveland.

– Our goal was to deliver tangible benefits to our members through innovative industry projects that address energy needs while reducing CO2 emissions. Our way of doing it was to establish a technical committee.

At the core of ETN's activities lies the initiation of innovative industry projects through this very committee, where eight major energy producers on the Norwegian Continental Shelf convene quarterly to evaluate project proposals submitted by the cluster members.

Once endorsed as a cluster project, ETN provides active support to project teams, facilitating financing and ensuring steady progress toward emission reduction goals.

For Arda Energy, ETN served as a platform for them to present their ideas directly to potential end-users, overcoming barriers to access decision-makers.

– We would have never succeeded with forming partnerships and gaining support from industry giants like Equinor, Shell, Rosenberg, Norled, and Aarbakke Innovasjon, nor receved crucial project funding from ENOVA without the help from ETN, says CEO in Arda Enery, Egil Vigdel.

– Arda Energy's success story is a testament to the power of collaboration, innovation, and collective action, says CEO of Energy Transition Norway, Egil Aanestad.

– But we still have a lot to learn, and we will now invite Arda Energy back to meet with the Technical Committee, to learn from their experience through the process, and how we can develop to become even better, he says.

As we look to the future, ETN remains committed to nurturing and guiding innovative projects toward success through connecting with the industry and forge collaborative efforts.

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