GREEN GUIDE EMEA 2023: Norway
1,5 Advokatfirma AS
Independent boutique firm 1,5 Advokatfirma AS focuses on regulatory and contractual advice within the Norwegian renewable energy sector, using its experience within the industry to help climate-conscious clients with their decarbonisation strategies.
Jens Naas-Bibow served as the sole lawyer appointed by the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy to participate in an expert commission which sought to improve the transmission of renewable electricity, discussing the licensing process for power grid facilities, potential improvements to the grid connection process, and ways to optimise the development of the power grid.
The firm advised regional power company Sunnhordland Kraftlag on regulatory matters regarding the grid connection process for a new hydropower plant. Another client in the renewable sector is developer Nordisk Vindkraft Norge, which sought the firm’s advice on contractual and regulatory matters, and negotiations with landowners, regarding the Vardafjellet Vindkraftverk wind farm.
In a project which received state aid through the Enova fund (which supports emerging green energy technologies), the firm also advised power company Glitre Energi Produksjon on regulatory questions related to the development of an innovative emergency power supply facility utilising renewable energy at a new hospital.
The firm furthermore provides electricity retail business Fortum Consumer Solutions advice across electricity retail and consumer market issues, including recently handling litigation on the legality of retail contracts for the consumer electricity market
The firm’s two lawyers, Naas-Bibow and Frode Støle, regularly impart their knowledge on the legal regime of Europe’s electricity market. They co-authored the Norway case-study chapter in Oxford University Press’ Capacity Mechanisms in the EU Energy Markets.
Consciously minimising its internal climate footprint, the firm runs an entirely paperless operation, with most client meetings conducted virtually.
Norwegian business law firm Advokatfirmaet BAHR has deep expertise in supporting major clients with their transition to green projects and investments.
Thomas Svensen advised private equity firm HitecVision on the establishment of its first non-hydrocarbon fund, with €7bn in assets under management. The firm has since advised the client on the deployment of €540m in investments, including assisting with the formation of a joint venture with Italian energy major Eni, which seeks to invest NOK 20bn across renewable energy projects by 2030; and advising the client’s portfolio company Sval Energi on its investment in the Metsälamminkangas wind farm in Finland, which targets an average production of 400 GWh per year.
Supporting the municipal-level green transition, Rune Svoren acted for an investor consortium of HitecVision, Hafslund Eco, and Infranode on its acquisition of a 50% stake in Oslo’s district heating system; the firm then advised the municipality of Oslo on the transfer of its 50% stake to Haflsund Eco, with the network now operating as Hafslund Oslo Celsio. The firm also advised the municipality of Oslo regarding its investment in the carbon capture project at the largest waste-to-energy plant in Norway; with the plant being Oslo’s largest point source of CO2 emissions, the project is a vital decarbonisation goal for the municipality.
Jon Christian Thaulow, head of the firm’s energy and climate change practice, advised renewable energy developer Aker Horizons on the establishment and portfolio development of hydrogen production and solutions company Aker Clean Hydrogen.
The firm is partnered with HUB Ocean (formerly C4IR Ocean; established by the Aker group and the World Economic Forum), which seeks to facilitate ocean sustainability initiatives by creating tools for industry actors to share and access ocean data. It has also partnered with Trefadder, which offer carbon offsets to customers by planting and managing carbon-sequestering forests, and provides the company with pro bono legal advice.
Advokatfirmaet Glittertind AS
Norwegian boutique law firm Advokatfirmaet Glittertind AS specialises in environmental and climate litigation, using its experience in dispute resolution to support green initiatives. With a founding value of practicing law in a sustainable manner, the firm’s climate strategy chiefly targets the provision of legal services at reduced rates or pro bono for climate- and environmental-protection causes.
In an ongoing matter, Emanuel Feinberg is advising Föreningen Greenpeace Norden against the Norwegian Government, with the client claiming that the award of oil and gas production licences in the Barents Sea violates the constitutional right to the environment, due to the licences’ environmental and emissions impact. The case, now brought before the ECHR, was the first to try the Norwegian constitutional right to the environment before the courts, and the first trying the legality of petroleum production licences.
For the WWF, the firm has reviewed the legality of the Norwegian government’s proposal to open a quarter of the Norwegian Continental Shelf for the extraction of mineral deposits, assessing whether this complies with existing environmental law and whether there was an erroneous procedure due to the lack of an environmental impact assessment.
A key client is rights-based rainforest protection organisation Rainforest Foundation Norway, which sought the firm’s pro bono advice on various matters; recent work for the client has focused on contract reviews.
Having calculated its CO2 emissions with environmental consultancy South Pole, the firm is now taking a data-driven approach to reducing its own footprint, promoting environmentally friendly modes of transport while switching to a green energy provider.
Notably, the firm has collaborated with law firms BAHR, CMS Kluge, and Wiersholm, establishing a green forum to share learning and expertise on internal green initiatives that support eco-friendly operations. It also supports the student climate organisation at the Faculty of Law in Oslo.
Advokatfirmaet Grette AS
Norwegian business law firm Advokatfirmaet Grette AS is active in advising clients on transactions and engineering agreements within the renewable energy sector.
Supporting the development of Norway’s offshore wind industry and the expansion of the country’s renewable electricity capacity, Roland Mörsdorf is assisting EnBW in establishing a joint venture with Norseman Wind for the €3.5bn development and operation of a 1400 MW offshore wind farm.
In another highlight, the firm advised Hy2gen in relation to establishing a green ammonia facility in Norway, which, by producing 600 metric tons of green ammonia per day, helps supply the shipping industry with zero-carbon fuel. Within this matter, the firm advised the client on initial studies and designs, and the investment in the facility made by Trafigura and Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners.
The firm is also acting for Nork Energi regarding its engineering contract with Aker Solution for the Norcems Carbon Capture Project, having provided the client advice and negotiation assistance for a related frame agreement with Aker Clean Carbon. The project, which captures CO2 from the Norcem Brevik cement plant, supports the decarbonisation of Norway’s emissions-intensive industries.
Thomas Borch-Nielsen recently advised electricity and grid provider Hurum Energi on its joint investment, alongside Glitre Energi and Vardar, in the renewable energy and solutions investment company Campus Tofte. Campus Tofte will support the transition to green electricity in the Asker municipality, while seeking to create a local economy focused upon the green transition.
Complementing the firm’s client work with thought leadership in the renewable energy sector, Stig Walle contributed to the Federation of Norwegian Industries’ report on delivery models for offshore wind, which supports the supplier industry in its transition to operating in the offshore wind market.
The firm is committed to implementing and measuring environmental initiatives within its transition to becoming an eco-friendly business; it received a Eco-Lighthouse certification.
Advokatfirmaet Haavind AS
Full-service Norwegian law firm Advokatfirmaet Haavind AS specialises in advice regarding the development of innovative green industries and renewable energy projects.
Christopher Sveen, head of the firm’s aquaculture, offshore and industry practice, is advising Aker Solutions on its EPCI contract within Equinor Energy’s Hywind Tampen project. The 88 MW floating wind power project, which will provide renewable electricity for the Snorre and Gullfaks oilfields, is pioneering the decarbonisation of the Norwegian oil and gas industry while facilitating the development of floating offshore wind technology.
Jøran Sandvik assisted Eolus Vind Norge Holding with all legal aspects for the development of the 400 MW Øyfjellet Wind Farm, one of the largest standalone wind power plants in Norway. Within the mandate, the firm advised on a power purchase agreement with Alcoa, who will purchase all electricity produced to help decarbonise its aluminium production.
The firm also advised Technip Energies on its investment in green hydrogen investment platform Hy2gen, which is developing a green ammonia facility in Norway to provide fuel for transport and industrial uses.
Demonstrating its experience in the renewable energy sector, the firm has contributed to the Norwegian Federation of Industries and Innovation Norway’s ‘Entry Programme Offshore Wind’, which provides offshore contractors wind power-specific learning and connections to help transition their businesses away from the hydrocarbon industry.
The firm is also legal adviser to non-profit industry organisation Renewables Norway, which represents companies involved in the production, distribution and trading of electricity. For the organisation and its members, the firm assists in all legal aspects related to the renewables sector, particularly focusing on the legal framework for offshore wind on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.
Seeking to become climate neutral by 2025, the firm has introduced procurement from environmentally certified suppliers, reduced waste and paper consumption, and moved into a BREEAM-certified office in Oslo.
Advokatfirmaet Selmer AS
Norwegian full-service law firm Advokatfirmaet Selmer AS has established a major presence within the renewable energy sector, handling significant and pioneering matters for clients concerning wind and green hydrogen.
For energy industry service provider TechnipFMC, the firm is assisting with all aspects of the Deep Purple pilot project, which is developing a system for producing green hydrogen using renewable electricity and storing it on the seabed. The firm is also advising utility company Varanger Kraft on their joint venture with Aker and industrial actors, which will develop and operate a large-scale green hydrogen and ammonia production plant powered by electricity from the Raggobidda windfarm.
Håkon Sandbekk, who heads the firm’s electricity & renewable energy practice, is a key contact in offshore wind, having advised a consortium of Agder Energi, HitecVision, Eni, and the Green Investment Group on its bid for the development and construction of offshore windfarms in the South North Sea zone. The firm is also acting for offshore windfarm developer Norseman Wind regarding its involvement in an EnBW-led consortium, which is aiming to secure one of the first offshore wind licenses in Norway and develop a 1400 MW offshore windfarm.
In the onshore wind sector, a key client is windfarm Hamnefjell Vindkraft, with the firm advising on the consent application process for a second stage of construction seeking to upgrade the plant’s capacity to 120 MW.
Liv Monica Stubholt, who leads the firm’s ESG group, has been appointed by the Norwegian government as a member of its Energy Commission, helping devise a sustainable energy future for the country.
A member of the UN Global Compact, the firm is committed to limiting its impact on the environment and implementing verifiable sustainability-conscious strategies. It is Eco-Lighthouse-certified and also a member of the Grønt Punkt organisation, which promotes environmentally conscious procurement.
Advokatfirmaet Thommessen AS
Norwegian commercial law firm Advokatfirmaet Thommessen AS has developed a digital sustainability database and reporting compass, providing tools which help clients identify and understand their growing roles in the green transition.
The firm has expertise assisting clients within the renewable electricity and storage industry. In one highlight, it is advising Småkraft with its acquisition of a 23 MW portfolio of hydropower plants and energy storage facilities from Bekk og Strøm and SV Vattenkraft. In the wind power sector, the firm’s renewable energy and infrastructure team assisted Odal Vindkraftverk regarding the construction of the 160 MW Songkjølen and Engerfjellet Wind Farm project.
In an innovative mandate, the firm provided energy- and ESG-focused advice for FREYR, which is constructing a novel large-scale battery cell production plant to develop its clean, low-cost batteries for the energy storage and electro-mobility markets.
For private equity fund HitecVision, the firm assisted with the establishment of ANeo, a renewable energy company jointly owned by the client and TrønderEnergi. Through the transaction, the client provides TrønderEnergi an investment capacity of up to NOK20bn to support the development of renewable energy, electrification, and energy-efficiency solutions.
A UN Global Compact member and Eco-Lighthouse certified, the firm is committed to promoting and demonstrating its environmental efforts. In November 2022, the firm held its second annual Green week, hosting webinars on tax regimes in the hydropower and wind power sectors, and on sustainable finance.
Having been carbon neutral in 2021 through carbon offsetting and the purchase of green electricity certificates, the firm is now working to reduce its CO2 emissions, preparing greenhouse gas accounts in accordance with the GHG Protocol to identify effective internal emissions-reduction measures. The firm’s internal green committee, ThommessenZero, has led initiatives including waste and consumption reduction, sustainable procurement, and the relocation of the Oslo and Stavanger offices to BREEAM Excellent-certified buildings.
Arntzen de Besche
Norwegian UN Global Compact signatory Arntzen de Besche supports clients through the green shift both through its advice on pioneering mandates within the energy transition and through its outreach, such as inviting clients to its ‘Green Week’ to hear from internal and external specialists on green financing, procurement, construction, and corporate strategies.
Within the renewable energy sector, the firm served as sole legal advisor to Enova, the Norwegian state enterprise which manages aid schemes that stimulate the energy transition, assisting with the granting of funds and with electricity law issues.
Another key client is the government of Iceland; Odd-Harald Wasenden provided input on Norwegian wind energy regulation, assisting the client with the development of a regulatory regime for the construction and operation of wind power.
The firm also acted for renewable energy producer TrønderEnergi in HitecVision’s acquisition of 50% of the shares in the client’s wind power, energy management, energy services and hydropower business. The transaction, creating a joint venture between the two companies, will support renewable energy production and electrification across Norway.
Demonstrating experience in alternative fuels, the firm advised Biokraft on the establishment of a 25m m3 liquid biogas plant, one of the largest of its type currently in operation, which will create vehicle fuel from the biomass waste of local fish-farming and paper industries.
A member of sustainability forum Skift – Business Climate Leaders, which unites climate-ambitious companies across Norway, the firm advises working committees and corporate clients on sustainable procurement, the energy transition, and potential climate-friendly operations within food production. The firm also provides pro bono regulatory advice to the Norwegian Hydrogen Forum.
Having been carbon neutral since 2019 through purchasing climate quotas from the EU ETS, the firm continues to lower its emissions by reducing paper and energy consumption, limiting travel, and moving its Oslo office into BREEAM Excellent-certified premises.
In Norway, DLA Piper’s renewable energy team is comprised of go-to advisors covering a range of client needs in the sector. The team was further strengthened in 2021 with the addition of Siren Skalstad Ellensen, who has extensive M&A experience within the renewables sector. Clients also benefit from the firm’s presence across all Nordic countries.
In a current highlight, Skalstad Ellensen and Kaare Oftedal are advising MEAG on its proposed investment of €480m in a wind portfolio with a combined capacity of 258 MW.
Globally the firm has partnered with the Net Zero Lawyers Alliance of which it was a founding member. It is also a founding member of the Global Alliance of Impact Lawyers and has partnered with Carbon 13 to support start-ups with a focus on reducing carbon emissions on a pro bono basis.
One of the pillars of the firm’s pro bono efforts across the Nordics is to support climate justice and conservation. The firm also provided pro bono assistance to the Boards Impact Forum, the Nordic chapter of the Climate Governance Initiative, in collaboration with the World Economic Forum, whose purpose is to engage board directors in the Nordics and internationally to accelerate climate actions and innovation for sustainable business. The advice centred around the setup of the organisation and directions on development.
Norwegian UN Global Compact member Wiersholm has established an interdisciplinary sustainability team which is focused on advising on innovative mandates within the green transition.
The firm has assisted multiple clients on the Longship project, Norway’s first full-scale carbon capture and storage chain, which will capture CO2 at Norcem’s cement factory and Hafslund Oslo Celcio’s waste incineration plant, transport liquified CO2 to a terminal, and store it in a sub-sea reservoir. For the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy, the firm developed the concept and contractual framework for the complete commercial value chain, which will help decarbonise industries whose emissions cannot be eradicated by the use of renewable energy alone. For Equinor, Shell, and Total within their Northern Lights joint venture, which will provide transport and storage for a commercial CCS market, the firm developed contracts for the storage of CO2.
Further assisting in the development of innovative green technologies, the firm advised Norsk Hydro on its investment into Vianode, which sustainably produces battery materials for the electric vehicle industry.
Inge Ekker Bartnes provides experience in the wind energy sector and recently assisted Keppel Infrastructure Trust with its €160m investment, alongside Keppel Corporation, into a portfolio of existing and pipeline wind projects, marking the client’s first investment into the renewable energy sector.
The firm is Eco-Lighthouse certified, using the scheme to help improve waste management, energy consumption, procurement, and transport. An internal Green Group coordinates the firm’s sustainable choices and carbon-reduction measures, with an employee taskforce advising management on effective strategies.
Alongside law firms BAHR, CMS Kluge, and Glittertind, the firm held an internal Green Week campaign, sharing knowledge to help implement impactful environmental measures. It simultaneously published podcasts concerning the legal market, speaking on green leases, CO2 management, renewable electricity amid the energy crisis, and how to avoid greenwashing.