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Norwegians Got Paid To Use Electricity As Prices Fall Below Zero

Electricity prices in parts of Norway fell below zero for the second time in history early on Monday, and residents in southern Norway ‘got paid’ for using electricity as power producers have to pay to sell electricity when prices are negative.

According to Norwegian outlet E24, electricity prices in and around Oslo and Kristiansand were negative for four hours in the early hours of Monday.

This was the second time in history that electricity prices in Norway have dropped below zero. In early July, electricity prices in Norway went negative for one hour. Back then, some of the reasons for the first-ever negative electricity prices were a lot of snow in the mountains, limited exports of electricity, and the start of the summer vacations during which Norwegian power consumption is lower than normal.  

The latest negative electricity price from Monday was the result of heavy rainfall and wind in recent weeks as well as higher imports of nuclear power from Sweden, analysts told E24. Higher than normal seasonal temperatures also contributed to low power demand in southern Norway.

Electricity prices are expected to rise with the coming of the winter in the Nordic country, experts said.

Norway, Western Europe’s biggest oil and gas producer, generates most of its electricity from hydropower. According to Norwegian company Statkraft, hydropower accounts for 99 percent of all power generation in Norway. Globally, hydropower represents around one-sixth of the total generated electricity supply, Statkraft says. 

According to Statistics Norway, hydropower accounted for 91.2 percent of electricity production in the country in September 2020, followed by wind power with a 7.1-percent share, and thermal power with 1.6 percent. The latest annual estimate from Statistics Norway shows that hydropower accounted for 95.0 percent of the country’s electricity production in 2018.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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