1895 - 1945

The beginning of an energy success story

Hydropower's pioneering days in the late 1800s were characterised by investment and speculation, bold feats of engineering and major political decisions. Waterfalls were purchased, power plants rapidly developed, and laws enacted to secure national sovereignty over these new sources of wealth.



The Norwegian state acquired its first ownership rights to a waterfall on 30 May 1895 when it bought Paulenfoss on the Otra river system in Vest Agder County for NOK 23 245. The acquisition of Paulenfoss is regarded as the birth of today's Statkraft.

Glomfjord power plant

1918In 1918 the state bought the half-finished Glomfjord power plant in Nordland County to produce electricity for industrial development. This was the first major power plant development managed by the state.

World War II


During World War II, a number of new hydropower developments were initiated by the occupying forces, some of them to produce aluminium for the German aerospace industry. New transformers and more efficient transmission lines were also established across the country. The vast majority of power plants established in those days are still in operation.