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Norway’s Power Surplus Disappearing Rapidly

By Paul Homewood | Not A Lot Of People Know That | December 13, 2021

This small note appeared on the Energy Market Price website today:

Southern Norway seen tipping into power deficit by 2026

Norway’s power production surplus is expected to fall significantly by 2026, with the south of the country moving into deficit owing to rapidly increasing demand, power grid operator Statnett said on Friday.

Power demand in Norway is expected to grow to 158 terawatt hours (TWh) by 2026, up by 19 TWh from current levels, driven by demand from offshore oil and gas platforms and new onshore consumers, such as data centres, Statnett said in its latest market analysis.

The biggest increase is expected in the southern part of the country, where the most of Norway’s power-intensive industries are located, along with new projects such as electrification of the Johan Sverdrup and surrounding offshore fields.

It is surprisingly understated for something with huge ramifications for the stability of the European power grid.

We know of course that Denmark is already heavily reliant on Norway for balancing its grid, taking surplus power when wind power is abundant, and returning it when it is short.

Germany too is becoming increasingly dependent on Norway, for similar reasons.

However, as coal and nuclear power is increasingly shut down, many countries are looking at Norway to fill the gap when renewable power is not performing.

Virtually all of Norway’s electricity comes from hydro, and last year total generation amounted to 154 TWh. According to this latest report, demand in Norway will rise from 139 to 158 TWh by 2026.

In other words, the surplus that Norway has traditionally had in the past is going to disappear.

The report mentions increasing demand from industry and oil production, but as Bloomberg reported earlier this year, demand is also rising rapidly because of electric cars and heat pumps, both of which will continue to grow:

image

And when southern Norway is short of power, will the country carry on exporting electricity to the rest of Europe ?

Don’t hold your breath!

December 13, 2021 - Posted by | Economics | ,

4 Comments »

  1. Some text and extrapolations here I can’t put my arms around:

    –If “Virtually all of Norway’s electricity comes from hydro…,” it has 5 years to 2026 for its power-industry engineers to upgrade capacity in order to meet demand. Ergo, isn’t Homewood unnecessarily alarmist? — to wit, why should it matter to any extent that the purported impending deficit should be relegated to “a small note” in an industry/energy-market publication that I presume is available to and read by all of Europe and anywhere else?

    –At “Power demand in Norway is expected to grow to 158 terawatt hours (TWh) by 2026, up by 19 TWh from current levels, driven by demand from offshore oil and gas platforms and new onshore consumers, such as data centres, Statnett said in its latest market analysis.”, Norway seems to augment its power demands by “offshore oil and gas demands.” If there is indeed a synergy/balance between water and fossil fuels in Norway, can’t that balance be tweaked and exploited easily by experts over a span of 5 years?

    –If there are indeed warning signs now and approaching, wouldn’t Denmark, Germany et al step up with alacrity to provide human and funding support to assist Norway to help themselves in energy endeavors? Win-win-win….

    –I guess “increasing demand from industry and oil production” relates to those “offshore oil and gas platforms…”; is that a function of those platforms’ needs to develop, upgrade, increase deliveries, and maintain their slice of (and that presumed synergy-cum-balance within) the energy market? Why would they not take action commensurate with their “demand” for the overall good of Norway and Europe?

    –Not covered by Homewood, but wouldn’t Russia’s vast energy resources and technical expertise and willingness to share and cooperate play a great potential role in this realm? Win-win-win-win….

    I admit to vast and amateurish ignorance, but what is Homewood’s intent? If he has concern for Norway, Denmark, Germany et al, why doesn’t he simply “FYI” his analysis and observations to them and to the Energy Market Price website?

    (Anent a recent Aletho posting on which I wrote, inter alia, about Japan’s energy needs [I’ve already forgotten the details…], I’d hope that there is extensive and mutually beneficial communication, ideas-exchange, and technological cooperation between Norway and Japan….)

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by roberthstiver | December 13, 2021 | Reply

    • The point here is not about fulfilling Norway’s needs, it’s about the end of the free ride Germany and Denmark have had being able to tap into Norway’s highly flexible capacity in order to back up European intermitent generation.

      It’s also proof that Germany MUST approve the new Nordsteam gas imports and build gas fired power plants for back up.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by aletho | December 13, 2021 | Reply

      • Thanks. I appreciate your interjection (I really like this comment forum! and wish there were a lot more backs-and-forths among readers, of whom I hope there are many!) as usual and just as usual rue my naivete and “micro” perspective. But: Did Homewood make those valid and so-pertinent-and-excellent explications?…I can’t think so. Maybe you should be his editor!

        Like

        Comment by roberthstiver | December 13, 2021 | Reply

  2. Maybe the World needs a plan to reduce the number of people, living in it?……..Oh, wait..!!

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by brianharryaustralia | December 13, 2021 | Reply


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