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Hydropower – the source of Hydro

Hydro may be best known as the world’s only fully integrated aluminium company, but our name points to our history as pioneers in hydropower production. It all started in 1906 when we built a hydroelectric power plant at Svelgfoss, close to Notodden in Norway, to provide energy for our first potassium nitrate plant.

Hydropower and aluminium production

In 1963, we opened our first aluminium production plant based on hydropower on Karmøy, an island off the Norwegian west coast. This also marked the beginning of Hydro’s journey to become the world’s leading company in sustainable aluminium production.

Today, we operate more than 20 hydropower facilities throughout Norway, providing around 10 TWh of clean and renewable energy annually for our aluminium production.

Renewable energy and the environment

Because it takes a lot of energy to produce aluminium, it is very important to use energy sources that leave a small carbon footprint. An aluminium plant that bases its electricity on coal, as is common in several regions of the world, has five times higher CO2 emissions than one that bases it on electricity from renewable sources. Therefore, our core strategy is to grow our operations in regions of the world where we can use power with zero emissions, such as hydropower, wind power, solar power and more.

What are the CO2 emissions of aluminium based on the energy source used to create the metal?

co2 emissions bar graph