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Norway Could Limit Electricity Exports To Avoid Shortages

Norway announced on Friday measures to ensure its security of power supply and could limit some electricity exports to neighboring countries if there is a risk of shortages at home, the government said.   

The government plans to introduce a mechanism under which electricity producers from hydropower – the most common power-generating source in Norway – will be responsible for keeping water levels in reservoirs above certain levels. Producers will also be asked to report water reservoir levels on a regular basis, the Norwegian government said.

Hydropower accounts for 90% of Norwegian power generation. The remaining around 10% of the electricity supply in Norway comes from wind power.

The new plan to keep water levels from falling too low and affecting power generation must be introduced well before the winter of 2023/2024, the government said today.

“We want to ensure there is always enough water in our reservoirs. There should always be enough power in our sockets (at home) and we should have enough power for our industry,” Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere said at a press conference, as carried by Reuters.

The government will set restrictions on power exports if there is a risk of shortages domestically, Norway says.

“It will not serve any of our neighbours if we reach critically low levels (at our reservoirs),” the Norwegian prime minister said.

Norway is not part of the EU but is part of the European Economic Area, a common market.  

Last summer’s dry weather across Europe affected Norwegian power generation. While Europe scrambled to procure natural gas for winter power generation and heating, Western Europe’s biggest oil and gas producer, Norway, had a whole different power problem during the summer—dry weather, which depleted water reservoirs for hydropower. Back then, Norway’s authorities asked operators not to export too much electricity to the rest of Europe as reservoirs were not as full as in previous years, and not to rely on imports from the rest of Europe, which was struggling with energy supply. 

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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