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In agreement on energy

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The Independent today reported on a new energy partnership between the UK and Norway which it says will help create more than 1600 jobs and could “secure affordable power supplies for decades”.

David Cameron and Norwegian PM, Jens Stoltenberg, announced the partnership today in Oslo. At the heart of the partnership will be a joint business advisory group to find ways to incentivise investment and encourage innovative energy technologies.

The executives of ten major energy companies including Aker, National Grid, Centrica, Shell and Norway’s state-owned giant Statoil, worth a combined £400bn, are set to take part in the initiative, working together on issues such as environmentally sensitive oil exploration, electricity interconnection, and stable long-term oil and gas supplies.

The partnership would appear to stem from the increasing interdependency of the energy sectors in both countries. Norway currently meets one-quarter of the UK’s energy demands. The UK has, in turn, invested more than £13bn in Norwegian oil and gas.

Cameron’s visit to Norway is the first made by a British leader in some 26 years. He said the relationship would “mean more collaboration on affordable long-term gas supply, more reciprocal investment in oil and gas and renewables, and underpinning all of this – a set of major new business deals creating thousands of new jobs and adding billions to our economies.”

As The Guardian warned this morning, Cameron’s visit comes after the warning by the IEA of a “golden age of gas”. Fatih Birol, chief economist for the IEA, said last month: “Renewable energy may be the victim of cheap gas prices if governments do not stick to their renewable support schemes … A golden age for gas is not necessarily a golden age for the climate.”

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