The energy system had a different situation last year than we saw in 2021 and 2022. Statnett believes that although there are still periods of high electricity prices, there is now better control over energy supplies in Europe.
The topic that caught public attention here at home and in Europe last year is the need for grid capacity for new consumption in the electricity grid.
Key figures for the energy year 2023
- Production: 154 terawatt-hours
- Consumption 136.1 terawatt hours
- Power exchange:
- Importing 13.1 TWh
- Exporting 30.9 TWh
- Net exchange 17.9 TWh (rounded)
Many plans for new consumption
Statnett has long pointed out that in many places there is limited space in the energy grid for new consumption beyond the large amounts reserved all together. This means that grid actions are needed to make room for new projects that require significant energy consumption.
Statnett: “Over the next ten years, arrangements have been made for energy consumption to grow larger than ever before in Norwegian energy history.”
Local entrepreneurs have gotten the green light for a giant industrial project
– I think that in 2023, many people will really see how important it is for the success of energy supply through a green change of pace. Although we have retained a lot of capacity and connected a lot of new consumption to our energy grid, the desire to create new green commercial and industrial activities is great. The development we are seeing in Norway and Europe requires a stronger grid and more energy production, says Hilde Thun, CEO of Statnet.
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At the end of 2023, Statnet has allocated space in the power grid for just under 8,000 MW of new consumption in the grid. In 2023 alone, more than 3,500 MW of new capacity has been booked. In comparison, today's maximum consumption in Norway is about 25,000 MW. However, there is a large number of requests waiting to reserve capacity.
Facilitates new industries and more electricity production
– We expect a significant increase in Norwegian energy consumption. Therefore, we have a clear strategy and plan to develop our website in the coming years. Through the new System Development Plan 2023 and regional plans covering the entire country, we are looking holistically at the investments necessary to meet the demand for more network capacity at the right pace. We will ensure that the central energy grid is equipped for a zero-emissions society, so we see that we will also need significant amounts of renewable energy production to achieve the green transition,” says Ton.
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Production and consumption
154 TWh of energy were produced in Norway in 2023. More energy was produced in this country only in 2020 (154.2 TWh) and the record year 2021 (157.1 TWh). In contrast to 2022, where the energy situation in southern Norway was tense until autumn, there was more rain this year, keeping the reservoir full in the winter. Wind energy also contributed. In total, approximately 14 TWh of wind energy will be produced in Norway in 2023.
Precipitation plays a major role in Norwegian energy supply, but onshore wind energy also makes an important contribution. We need more of this in the short term. The government has clear goals to establish significant amounts of offshore wind energy in Norwegian offshore areas, so in the long term we expect onshore and offshore wind energy to play an increasingly important role in our energy supply, says CEO Hilde Thun.
Consumption of 136.1 TWh in 2023 was also high. Only in 2018 (136.9 TWh) and in the record year 2021 (139.7 TWh) was consumption greater than in 2023. Consumption was highest in December, while the lowest was in June. In the coming years, Statnet expects Norwegian energy consumption to increase sharply in order to reach climate targets while facilitating new commercial and industrial activities.
Import and export of energy
In 2023, we had our largest power exchange with Sweden. Exchange here was balanced throughout the year, with imports somewhat greater than exports. In terms of other international connections, there were net exports throughout the year, but there were also several periods of large net imports. The exception was the cable to Great Britain, where energy was mainly exported last year.
At the end of the year, a period of low electricity prices on the continent and in Sweden made Norway a net importer of energy from abroad until December. This reduced withdrawals from Norwegian water reservoirs in southwestern Norway until winter. The possibility of such imports provides additional security of energy supply.
Through international connections with Great Britain, Germany, the Netherlands and Denmark, 29.9 TWh of energy was exchanged (import plus export), with a net export of 18.9 TWh.
Compared to the previous year, there were almost the same volume of energy imports in 2023 as in 2022 (just over 13 TWh), while exports totaled 30.9 TWh. This represents an increase of approximately 5 TWh on 2022, which was mainly related to exports to the UK.
Statnett's bottleneck revenue in 2023 was approximately NOK 9.3 billion. Revenue bottlenecking occurs when energy is transferred between regions with different energy prices, whether to other countries or between price regions in Norway. This revenue will be returned to online customers through discounted online rent.
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Solar energy in Norway
Solar energy still makes up a very small part of Norway's energy supply, but the growth is significant. 305.3 MW of solar capacity was installed in 2023. Very little new energy production was commissioned in Norway in 2023, but solar represents up to half of this production. The total recorded production capacity of solar energy reached 607.5 megawatts at the end of last year.
Total solar production reached just over 175,000 MWh (0.175 TWh) in 2023. This is almost three times what it was in 2022 and represents just over 0.1 percent of Norwegian energy production in the year the past.
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