The recent series of natural disasters could hit Norwegian supplies in western Norway and increase prices, predict experts.
Reservoir water levels in southwestern Norway are falling by approximately two percent weekly, and some municipalities are considering electricity rationing. Norway’s national main grid owner, Statnett, advises water reservoir levels are historically low.
“Latest measurements show average reservoir levels are at 22.8 percent, 22.5 percentage points lower than normal. The biggest challenges may be in relation to southern Norway’s power system, where reservoir levels are now down to about 20 percent,” says Øyvind Rue, the company’s Executive Director.
The acute situation was discussed at yesterday’s meeting between, Stavanger, Sandnes, Sola, Randaberg, electricity company Lyse, and Rogaland’s emergency preparedness representative, Reidar Johansen.
“We talked about how far everyone has progressed with their lists of who should be prioritised,” he tells Stavanger Aftenblad.
Power companies say they will try to shield hospitals, homes for the elderly, pumping stations, and other infrastructure-critical institutions and facilities if next month’s rationing becomes a fact. Several more meetings are planned.
Lyse’s Eimund Nygaard says, “it’s impossible to say when rationing will start, and will depend on temperatures in April or if the network experiences a fault.”
Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant (NPP) catastrophe, German inspection-related NPP closures following the Fuskushima disaster, Australian coalmines ravaged by floods, and unrest in the Middle East have weakened supplies and stripped the market of low prices.
Electricity market trader Nordpool Spot reports prices have increased by between 9 and 10 percent in the last week alone, with little or no help from soaring imports from European high-priced neighbouring countries.
Norwegian customers will continue having to pay high electricity prices for the near future, and market analysts also do not discount there could be further increases in oil and gas prices, as these fuels may replace some of the power currently generated by NPPs.
“An accident seldom happens in isolation,” Olav Johan Botnen, senior analyst at Markedskraft tells Aftenposten.
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