This week the Norwegian Ministry of Energy will formulate a plan to limit the export of electricity. This is what Energy Minister Terje Asland said in a letter to Norwegian party leaders.
Part of the Norwegian plan is to regulate the amount of energy that can be exported if water levels in water tanks become too low. Norway, one of Europe’s largest electricity exporters, had earlier announced that it was considering limiting its exports. Because of the short supply of gas from Russia, there is a lot of international demand for electricity from Norwegian hydropower plants.
Almost all electricity in Norway is generated by hydroelectricity. Norwegians usually generate much more electricity than they use themselves. But due to rising prices and low water levels in reservoirs, there have been calls for months to limit energy exports via submarine cables. According to the Norwegian water and energy regulator NVE, the chance of having to ration electricity in the winter is low and there is currently more water in the tanks than previously expected.
Germany and the United Kingdom also depend on electricity from Norway. Although Norway is not a member of the European Union, it is part of the European energy market. The rules for this state that countries may not restrict their energy supply to neighboring countries for a longer period of time. This is only allowed in case of emergency.
Asland Energy Minister and Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store spoke with party leaders on Monday about the situation in the energy market. The Norwegian government may have to return from vacation to discuss the situation. According to Asland, the measure of support for consumers and farmers will be extended from September due to higher energy prices.
If the export of energy is limited, this could also have consequences for the energy supply of the Netherlands, a consumer of electricity from the Scandinavian country. Belgium is not a direct importer of electricity from Norway.
Electricity prices in Germany and France – the benchmark countries for Europe – hit new highs on Monday. Electricity prices in Europe have been through the roof for nearly a year, driven in particular by rising gas prices, but also in part by the numerous failures at French nuclear power plants and more recently the heat causing more demand for cooling.
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