Elon Musk says Norway’s hydropower is a bright spot in the future of energy

The following is from a 2016 speech given by Elon Musk in Norway. “It’s always a pleasure to be in Norway. I always have a great time. I always look forward to visiting. In fact, on this visit to Europe, I’m only in Norway. I’m just coming for you. I think … I’d like to just express a word of appreciation and thanks for the support of Norway, for electric vehicles and being the leader in the world on a per capita basis for the adoption of electric vehicles. I think everyone in Norway should be incredibly proud of that fact. I think that’s wonderful. At Tesla, we considered Norway to be the pioneer particularly for cold weather activity. It remains the case that our top individual customer in the world, lives in Narvik. Obviously, that’s above the Arctic Circle. He’s such a big fan that he bought a bunch of Tesla’s and he’s just letting his house people use them whenever they want. Great guy.

Thinking of both sides of the energy equation, there’s sustainable energy generation and sustainable energy consumption. On the one side, Norway has a tremendous structural advantage with the Fjords and being able to generate immense amounts of hydropower. That’s something that I think can be done in a way that’s aesthetically in harmony with the environment and doesn’t disrupt the local ecology. I think there’s immense growth potential, in Norwegian hydropower, which when combined with long distance high efficiency power lines, can supply a very significant portion of Northern Europe’s electricity needs. I think as the world transitions away from hydrocarbons, Norway is in an excellent position, maybe the best position of any country in the world, to ramp up sustainable power generation.

The great thing about sustainable power is that it’s a long-term industry, a long-term revenue source. I think people always should feel very optimistic about the future as the world transitions away from hydrocarbons. I think you’re doing great; leading in sustainable power generation, leading in sustainable transport. Norway’s doing in amazing job as a leader of the world. A word of congratulations is in order. You all should feel great, great about that.

If you’re considering the future on the transport side, obviously, it’s incredibly important that we achieve affordable electric cars. Tesla recently announced the Model 3, which is a much more affordable EV. It got a tremendous amount of interest from Norway. We have lines at our stores, which shows the level of interest. So, we’re really looking forward to producing a great affordable electric car, which has been Tesla’s mission from the beginning. If we could get back … If we could’ve produced a great, affordable electric car on day one, that’s absolutely what we would have done, but the only way for success, for a small company with limited resources, was to start off with a low-volume, high-priced car, go to a mid-priced, mid-volume car and ultimately to an affordable, high-volume car and that’s what we’re sort of getting to, step three, which is obviously vital to have a real effect on the world. The Model 3, the model of an electric car has really been the dream of Tesla from the beginning.

We had the product launch a few days ago. A few weeks ago, I mean. The interest level is surprisingly immense. We had … We now have almost 400,000 orders for the Model 3, which makes it, in terms of pre-orders, the highest, the biggest product launch of any kind of car or otherwise in history, because it’s on the order of $14 billion worth of car orders in a little over a week. I think that’s great and it shows that people have a lot of faith that we can produce a great, affordable electric car. I think they’re right. I think this car’s going to be great for middle class families. I can’t wait to bring that to Norway.

I’d like to give a word of thanks also, to the people of Norway, who have, for a long time, fought for sustainable transport and sustainable energy. I know there are people that have been fighting for over 30 years to support electric vehicles and sustainable energy. So, I’d like to say thank you to those people. We wouldn’t be where we are in Norway today without their support. Just a general thank you to the Norwegian people and the Norwegian government for their support of their electric vehicles. Talk as we would say. I have a phrase I frequently say, which I say frequently, which is, “I love Norway.” Thank you for your support and like I said, my message is very simple, which is Norway has a tremendous opportunity, probably the best opportunity of any country in the world, for sustainable energy production. It needs to be done in a thoughtful way, such that it’s aesthetically appealing, blends into the local environment and doesn’t disrupt the local fisheries and wildlife, which I think is very doable. I think that’s a very exciting future for the country. I think that’s mostly what I wanted to say.”

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