Norway is hoping to further cooperation in sustainable technologies with China.
The two countries have long been collaborating in the fields of fishing, maritime and the oil and gas industries, but the pandemic caused interruptions in their cooperation, due to factory closures and reduced international travel, said Finn Kr. Aamodt, director of Invest in Norway.
Now that the countries are starting to enter a post-Covid era, Aamodt sais, it would be beneficial to look at future cooperations in green technologies. He specifically emphasized the possibility of collaborating on batteries used in electric vehicles.
Used to cooperating
China and Norway have already been collaborating on electric vehicles through the recent years. Many of the Chinese EV brands have chosen to launch their models in Norway, as a way to enter the European market.
This is due to Norway’s 2025 target of zero emissions for all new passenger cars and its tax incentives for EV buyers.
China is currently the world’s leading manufacturer of battery cells. The country accounted for 77 percent of the global battery production in 2022.
“As of today, a lot of the raw materials, the expertise and the science come from China. I think there is a big opportunity for China, Norway and Europe to collaborate on future battery development,” said Aamodt.
China holds the power of production
According to predictions offered by Benchmark Minerals, China will possess 322 GWh of the global production capacity by 2031. This is by far the highest capacity worldwide. Norway ranks seventh, with a capacity expected to reach 69 GWh.
Europe’s limitations in increasing the capacity are mainly due to the dependency on resources from other countries. Norway has plans to address the mineral dependency by allowing seabed mining in its own waters. A plan that is not recommended by EU.
Norway benefits from green energy sources
While China has the advantage of possessing the raw material, Norway has the benefit of an advanced green power system, that can help reduce the carbon footprint on the vehicles.
“Both countries have a good understandings of technology, and we are both very innovative. In some areas we have more power, and China has a lot of scaling abilities that we miss. I think it’s a good combination for future collaboration,” Aamodt said.
Norway launched its first battery strategy in 2022. The goal is to make Norway an attractive host country for profitable activity throughout the battery value chain.
Aamodt also aired the idea of collaborating with China in other technological areas, such as building data centers and digital twins for different industries. These are areas Norway tries to develop as part of its national strategy.