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Paradoxes of Norway’s energy transition: controversies and justice


Norway exemplifies a number of paradoxes in relation to the just transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy provision. We investigate these paradoxes by focusing on key controversies from the oil and gas sector and onshore wind power. Despite the widespread interest in avoiding conflict and increasing public acceptance, this article sees controversies as useful sites for uncovering justice issues in possible transition pathways. The controversies reveal competing interpretations of just transition amidst an inadequate cross-cutting policy response. Conventional solutions for restructuring petro-maritime industries involve taking controversies out of sight from the public and internalizing the issue of just transition to the sector’s needs.This achieves only shallow engagement with broader society regarding the scope of societal transition needed to meet climate policies. Controversies around onshore wind installations are on the doorsteps of communities themselves and call attention to the difficult social aspects of transition that require a much broader public debate and policy response. We conclude that just transition should not be interpreted sectorally in competing energy futures but rather should infiltrate both the fossil and renewables sides of the Norwegian energy provision paradox.


Academic article


  • Research Council of Norway (RCN) / 296205




  • Marius Korsnes
  • Bradley Loewen
  • Ragnhild Freng Dale
  • Markus Steen
  • Tomas Moe Skjølsvold


  • Norwegian University of Science and Technology
  • Western Norway Research Institute
  • SINTEF Digital / Technology Management



Published in

Climate Policy




Taylor & Francis

View this publication at Cristin