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ONS synopsis: the importance of trust and endurance in a critical time for the energy transition

The saying "when the going gets tough - the tough gets going" is what will prevail in the time to come. That is also the synopsis of last week’s ONS in Stavanger, Norway. With the current power crisis in Europe and the geopolitical challenges, the energy transition required to reach our targets, can seem difficult to accomplish.

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The fundamentals of trust

The ONS Foundation is a world-leading, non-profit organisation facilitating discussions and collaboration on energy, technology and innovation. The event took place last week, and the theme for this year’s happening was trust.

To gain trust, the presence of 3 elements is of great importance. Positive relationships, expertise and good judgement and consistency – all which are challenged now in the times of instabilities, war and economic uncertainties.

The global community is re-establishing and needs to find new paths. What will the geopolitical repositioning look like; which alliances will emerge and who will and can rely on who? How has the pandemic altered economics, international collaborations and energy markets? And which opportunities arise and how will energy investors respond?

The way forward

In what has been defined as an energy crisis in Europe, there are more question on how we can manage the transition to renewables than ever before. Yet there is little doubt that it is needed, nor that there is a strong will amongst governments, institutions and companies – to push it through. As Dr. Fatih Birol, leader of the IAE, stated during his speech on the opening session at the ONS: “We must not think that the impossible isn’t possible”

There is a need for more renewable energy, more batteries, more grid and more chargers – the entire transition depends on it. That was also the recurring topic of many of the sessions during ONS. With the knowledge that we will be dependant on oil and gas for some time, we need to keep searching for new innovations, solutions and collaborations – to accelerate the efforts.

Mer – a part of the solution

Even Mr. Musk paid the event a visit – and according to him – to show gratitude towards Norway and for proving the rest of the world that the transition to electric mobility is possible.

And it is in this exact sweet-spot Mer is positioned to accelerate the shift – in Norway, in Sweden, in UK, in Germany and in Austria. With over 125 years of experience in renewable energy through Statkraft and over a decade in the EV industry – Mer is ready to accelerate the efforts in our present markets.

I came here out of gratitude for the Norwegian people's support for electric vehicles and I would like to say thank you for Norwegians' support for sustainable transport over many years!

Elon Musk

Six key takeaways from the session Mer attended

On the very first day of ONS, Mer’s CEO Kristoffer Thoner attended a panel debate on “Batterys role in the electrification of the society”. Also attending was:

  • CEO of Ruter – Bernt Reitan Jenssen
  • CEO of Widerøe Zero – Andreas Kollbye Aks
  • EVP Sales in FREYR Battery – Gery Bonduelle
  • Managing Director of Volvo Cars Norway – Rita Kristin Brock
  • VP Sales in Honeywell – Scott Curley
  • Associate Partner in McKinsey Jakob Fleischmann

The discussion was moderated by Christer Tryggestad, senior partner in McKinsey.

ONS synopsis: the importance of trust and endurance in a critical time for the energy transition

What became evident during this session and what the moderator so perfectly summarized at the end, was the following:

  1. We will in near future have EV’s that will go farther than 1000km, with the new next gen Li-ion battery technology.
  2. The transition for the transportation is no longer restricted to EV’s only – we are already implementing this for boats and ferries. And we even expect the first electric all-commuter plane in the air during 2026.
  3. There will be a need for over 40 million (!) EV chargers all across Europe within 2030.
  4. We will need a lot of renewable energy to power the grid…
  5. … and we need a lot of batteries and belonging eco systems.
  6. And lastly: the grid needs to increase the capacity. That’s a prerequisite for the transition to take place!

These are fantastic opportunities, and looking apart from the geopolitical challenges – this is definitely an exciting time!

Kristoffer Thoner - CEO of Mer