Norway’s record-high electricity prices have prompted some politicians to call for a halt to the country’s hydropower exports. They want to keep power supplies on and lower rates, but experts warn that it could be counterproductive and might not even be allowed.

Power lines like this bring electricity to Oslo, but cables sending electricity abroad have suddenly become the center of great controversy. Photo: Berglund

Analysts and other critics have likened calls for export cuts to “energy nationalism.” Dagens Næringsliv (DN) Over the weekend, he argued that it would not serve Norway’s national interests in the long run. With nearly every country suffering from high electricity bills and record costs for all forms of energy, now is not the time for Norwegians to become fully self-sufficient in electricity, they point out.

Energy analysts scoff at claims that electricity exports to the UK and continental Europe are lagging behind today’s ever-rising rates. An attempt by politicians to denounce Statnet, a distributor of state power, smells of “a lot of populism,” said analyst Thor Liar Lilleholt. DNs on monday. He and other analysts attribute today’s high electricity prices to Russian President Vladimir Putin and his war in Ukraine.

“If there were no wars in Europe, Electricity prices will probably be around NOK 0.50,” said Lilleholt, but not nearly NOK 6 as seen last week. 0.50 Norwegian kroner is also high compared to years of low interest rates, Lilleholt noted, but a power cable capable of both exporting and importing electricity was “constructed after a complete democratic process.” Defending the method, some of the country’s politicians are now eager for amputation. Export joined. They include Ola Bolten Moe and Per Olaf Runteigen of the Center Party and Trond Giske of the Labor Party. All three men now claim Cable was a “mistake,” but all share the blame.

In today’s “deep situation,” Norway “is not doing enough with its more populist rhetoric,” argues another analyst, Knut Krupperien of Energie Norge. “Instead of concentrating on the real challenges that lie ahead, we are seeing Norway’s most important professional energy organization weaken when it comes to energy.” I don’t think so, but he also mentions that some politicians who want to stop power exports are also blocking the construction of new wind energy turbines on land.

NVE: High interest rates are not enough to stop exports
Earlier this month, Norway’s Ministry of Petroleum and Energy asked the state’s energy directorate, NVE, to provide a professional assessment of electricity exports and whether they could be restricted or stopped. The government is under heavy political pressure to halt or at least cut Norwegian hydropower exports in hopes of returning Norway’s current high electricity tariffs to more ‘normal’ levels.

On Monday, state broadcaster NRK reported that high tariffs were not enough for the government to stop exporting electricity abroad via cable, according to NVE. NVE has determined that securing energy supply can be justified, but high prices are not the only reason.

NVE reported that, according to Norway’s trade agreement with the EU, export restrictions can be put in place where relevant. NVE director Kjetil Lund said in a press release: Export restrictions would only be legal if it would improve supplies, but all that can really be done is more rain filling mountain reservoirs.

Export suspension must be aligned Due to EU/European Economic Area regulations, NVE stresses, these must also be agreed by neighboring countries. Meanwhile, Nordic neighbors have already warned against imposing export restrictions on Norway amid all the energy market turmoil caused by President Putin’s war.

As analyst Lilleholt put it, “Amidst attempts to restructure the energy system across Europe (to facilitate a shift from fossil fuels to more renewable energy), Putin has gone to war. No one predicted it.In a war situation, natural resources come into play.”

Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre also stressed at last week’s party leaders’ debate that the rise in electricity prices was almost entirely due to Putin’s war, not electricity exports. , added that without cables, Norway would be even more vulnerable to weather. This year has been the driest in more than a century in the southern part of the country. He noted that the electricity bill in northern Norway, which has had a lot of rain this summer, is much cheaper than in the south.

So power exports are not the main reason With today’s high interest rates, Lilleholt argues, cutting exports is not the solution to lower interest rates. Export cuts could also fuel antipathy against Norway, which has made huge profits from oil and gas exports since the war began, and call into question Norwegian solidarity with Ukraine.

“Europe is also very clear about who benefits from the energy crisis.” DNs The editorial warned politicians: It is not in Norway’s national interest to claim to lack solidarity in today’s extreme situation. ” Berglund

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