Employees in Norway’s largest power producers had an average salary of just over NOK 920,000 in 2020. This is higher than in the financial industry.
The power in southern Norway is historically expensive, and there is little water in the reservoirs. There is a political storm surrounding power politics.
It does not take very many employees to produce the winter’s precious electricity. Especially calculated in relation to the value creation that lies in the “white gold”. Among other things, the employees will portion out the precious water so that the producers earn as much as possible before the spring sun comes.
But the relatively few who work in power production earn well: On average, almost 2,000 employees in seven of Norway’s largest power producers had a salary of NOK 923,000 in 2020. This figure includes shift allowances and overtime.
This salary can be compared in different ways:
- The average annual salary was NOK 593,500 for all employees in 2020.
- In oil extraction, it was NOK 902,000.
- In finance and insurance it was 871,000 kroner.
- In industry, it was 594,000 kroner
- In the state administration, it was 616,000 kroner
- In Norges Bank, excluding the Petroleum Fund, it was NOK 1 million.
Employees at the seven power producers are above them all, with the exception of Norges Bank, calculated as an average.
The figures are from Statistics Norway national accounts and Norges Bank. The Statistics Norway figures include supplements for guards and night work, but not overtime.
Hydro Energi AS tops Aftenposten’s statistics. 183 employees have an average of NOK 1,169 million in salaries and other remuneration.
Information director Halvor Molland in Hydro writes in an e-mail to Aftenposten that a number of the group’s investments in solar energy, wind, hydrogen and batteries are in Hydro Energi AS.
“In recent years, we have worked hard to attract some of the best minds in strategy and business development in the renewable industry, both in Norway and internationally,” he writes.
«In addition, management and specialist roles with heavy responsibility for securing power supply to the Hydro Group have been added internationally to Hydro Energi AS. Here we are recruiting in an international market with a high salary level “, he continues.
Statkraft is by far the largest
Statkraft’s subsidiary Statkraft Energi AS is by far Norway’s largest producer of hydropower. Salary and bonus add up to NOK 826 million for 886 man-years in 2020. This gives an average salary of NOK 932,300.
These figures include hydropower and wind power in Norway and abroad.
Statkraft spokesman Knut Fjerdingstad writes in an e-mail: «Statkraft’s policy is to offer competitive conditions, but not to be a wage leader. Statkraft manages great values for the community and needs many highly specialized and qualified employees with critical competence. “
Oslo means higher wages
Oslo Municipality directly and indirectly owns close to 80 percent of Hafslund Eco Vannkraft AS. The company is Norway’s second largest power producer by a good margin.
414 employees, including seven apprentices, earned an average of just over NOK 903,000 in 2020.
Communications Manager Per Storm-Mathisen in Hafslund Eco writes in an e-mail:
«Our employees have a high level of competence and many have a long seniority. We operate power plants around the clock, all year round. This means that very many of our employees have shift allowances and compensation for unfavorable working hours. The basic salary level is therefore significantly lower than what is stated in the annual accounts. “
He states that the basic salary, before overtime and shift allowance, is NOK 780,000 on average.
Power gives extra profit
Hydropower utilizes watercourses, which are a scarce natural resource. But it is not free to develop so much hydropower that the long-term power price falls against the cost of expanding. Old hydropower can also have lower costs than new.
Therefore, there are normally extra high profits in power production, which is an expression of the industry reaping a so-called ground rent. Hydropower therefore has a special tax on extra profits to bring in the value of the natural resource to the community.
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High profits can result in high wages
Steinar Holden, professor of economics at the University of Oslo, has spent most of his career researching wage formation.
– There is strong theoretical and empirical support for higher wages in companies and industries that have higher value creation and profit per capita. employed, he says.
Holden believes that there is good reason to expect that this also applies to companies that reap the benefits of ground rent from natural resources. Especially petroleum activities, where wages are very high, but it can also apply to hydropower and perhaps also aquaculture.
He points out that employees in such industries are less likely to lose their jobs if wages rise, because the base rate provides profitability. Thus, employees can push harder for increased pay.
– Employers in the basic interest rate industries have extra profits to take away and want satisfied employees. It is moving in the direction of higher wages than in other industries, Holden says.
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