February 4, 2023

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Sweden sounds alarm about energy crisis: It could spread to Norway:

Sweden sounds alarm about energy crisis: It could spread to Norway:

Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson warns of great risks in the possibility of power outages in the country, as a result of the energy situation in Europe:

– The Prime Minister said at a press conference, the situation is urgent.

On Friday, Sweden’s Oskarshamn 3 nuclear power reactor – the country’s largest – will be shut down for maintenance. And in this regard, the risks of disconnection from the power grid increase dramatically: from “low” to “high”.

The reactor will be shut down for “a few days.” This may also have consequences for Norwegian electricity customers.

He warns of a possible Blue Monday

Energy expert and senior analyst at Volue Insight, Tor Reier Lilleholt, said on Friday that the crisis in Sweden could have a knock-on effect on Norway as well.

And he says that there may be a critical situation on Monday, if the reactor maintenance in Sweden is not completed over the weekend, since in any case the consumption is less than on weekdays.

Maintenance: Reactors 1 and 2 at the Oskarshamn Nuclear Power Plant in Sweden. It is the third reactor that has now been shut down. Photo: Adam Ihse/TT via AP

– This will lead to a Blue Monday that could befall Norway. There will be price equality if we don’t have the strength to bring them to Sweden, he says to TV 2.

Electricity prices are likely to rise next week in Norway and Europe anyway, due to cooler temperatures across the continent. Other factors are also at play: light winds and the tense gas situation associated with the relationship with Russia.

Energy expert and director of analysis Tor Reier Lilleholt at Volue Insight.  Photo: Håkon Smeland/TV 2

Energy expert and director of analysis Tor Reier Lilleholt at Volue Insight. Photo: Håkon Smeland/TV 2

– It’s the coldest week now predicted in several years. Fortunately, there has been a decline in consumption in recent months. But now you can test the systems next week, each in Norway, Sweden and Finland, says Reyer Lilleholt.

– He believes setting a new price record is unimaginable.

Although there is a lot of water in the tanks, in any case there is a ceiling on the production effect – that is, the amount of water that can be taken through the locks at maximum capacity.

Even if the electricity from the power plants in western Norway were to be transmitted to eastern Norway, most of what is produced in Norway could thus be used.

Then you will not be able to deliver electricity across the border into Sweden, so Swedish prices will play a role here as well.

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Nordpool Energy Exchange CEO Tom Darrell told TV2 that two Swedish nuclear reactors are now shut down in Sweden. In addition to Oskarshamn 3, the Ringhals 4 reactor was also shut down.

– Prices tend to fall towards the end of the week due to lower industrial consumption. Then there will probably be higher prices on Monday. It’s a little bit about consumption. Like he says, we’re a little excited about Monday.

Norway enjoys significant energy exchange with Sweden, whether in the north, center or south. Recently, Norway has exported a lot to the Swedish side of the border – while at the beginning of November the situation was the opposite.

Explaining the situation: Tom Darrell, managing director at Nordpool Photo: Jonas Be Henriksen / TV 2

Explaining the situation: Tom Darrell, managing director at Nordpool Photo: Jonas Be Henriksen / TV 2

– In Sweden, the situation is now “tight”, says Daryl from Nordpool.

He points to three factors that create a critical situation for the supply of electricity to Sweden, as the temperature drops and consumption increases:

  • Shutting down important nuclear reactors, which usually have a predictable output.
  • Glacied rivers reduce river energy production.
  • There is little wind in Sweden, as in the rest of Europe. This means that Denmark can’t help its Scandinavian neighbors much either.

– Darrell says it’s also quite “tight” in Finland. This means that there is pressure throughout the North region.

Security issues

– As we all know, there are big concerns with Swedish energy production right now, especially in southern Sweden. The Prime Minister, Ulf Kristersson, says the electricity system is strained and he feels it in the winter.

He is now asking Swedes to save on electricity.

 Photo: Ole Berg-Rusten/NTB

Photo: Ole Berg-Rusten/NTB

The energy issue went from being about price in the 1970s to climate in the 1980s and 1990s. Now it has become a matter of security policy after the Russian invasion of Ukraine. It all comes together now. We have an unsustainable situation in Swedish energy production.

Svenska kraftnät general manager, Lotta Medelius Bredhe, contributes to the press conference with a photo of the situation:

– We choked on gas supplies from Russia, uncertainty about water levels in Norway and uncertainty about the availability of nuclear power in France. So we have been warned of a real danger of secession.

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