Facts about hydropower

Hydropower accounts for 99% of all energy production in Norway, making it by far the most important source.

Water turbine

Hydropower provides renewable energy, and is an environmentally friendly way to produce the electricity the country needs.

99% of all energy production in our country comes from hydro power

Hydro has 20 power plants in Norway - some of them among the nation's largest. The power plants we own are in the counties of Sogn and Fjordane, Hordaland, Rogaland, Vest-Agder and Telemark. We are also co-owners of several other plants.

20 hydro power plants in Norway

Norway is one of Europe's leading hydropower countries. This is a result of our many mountains and lakes, in addition to our climate with high rainfall.

How much?

Hydro is Norway's second largest producer of hydroelectric power. Every year we produce around 10 terawatt hours (TWh) of hydropower. By comparison, this is roughly the same amount of electricity used by the entire city of Oslo in one year.

1 year energy consumption in Oslo

Or to put it another way - Hydro's production of hydroelectric power would meet the annual electricity needs of 625 000 households.

625.000 norwegian homes

It is also enough to produce 800 000 tonnes of aluminium!

800.000 tonn aluminium

Hydropower generation provides the power supply we need for our aluminium plants, and we also buy and sell power through NordPool, the Nordic power exchange.

When and where?

Hydro has 20 power plants spread across the country in the counties of Sogn and Fjordane, Hordaland, Rogaland, Vest-Agder and Telemark. We have produced hydro power for over 100 years.

Highlights from our history:

Vintage image of Svelgfoss power station

Construction of Svelgfoss, Hydro's oldest power plant, started in 1906. Svelgfoss was originally built to provide electricity to Hydro's first potassium nitrate plant in Notodden.


Vintage image of Vemork power station

In 1911, the Vemork power plant in Rjukan was completed and was the world's largest at that time.

Man working on the power lines to  Hærøya

In 1948 the Skafså power plant in Telemark was built in conjunction with the start of magnesium production in Herøya

Building the plant at Glomfjord

During the period 1960-1963, the Sundsfjord power plant was put into operation to provide power for ammonia and fertilizer production in Glomfjord.

Karmøy aluminium plant

From 1963 to 1968, Røldal-Suldal was developed to provide electricity to the aluminium smelter in Karmøy. It was the largest hydropower plant construction project in Norway until then.


Sunndal aluminium plant

In 1986 Hydro took over Årdal and Sunndal Works including its Tyin and Fortun power plants.

What next?

In Hydro we are working to ensure hydropower generation in the future. Although many of the resources suitable for hydropower production are already in use, we continuously develop and upgrade existing power plants to achieve more efficient operations.


Updated: October 3, 2016