August 13, 2022

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- The desire for cheap electricity is a utopia - V.G

– The desire for cheap electricity is a utopia – V.G

Do you believe that new measures by politicians will reduce the price of electricity now? You can forget about it, says NTNU professor Asjir Domaskard.

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Electricity prices have reached record highwith large differences between North and South.

The government is under intense pressure and is co-operating with it New measures Against power crisis. Among others, there are demands from the opposition for export restrictions and orders for the industry to fill reservoirs.

Now the government is considering specifically Actions for Journal filling and export controls to ensure supply security. In the past, Statnett has reported on risks Power rationing In winter.

But Tomasgard, director of the NTNU Energy Transition Initiative, insists that these measures will only work against rationing and to stabilize electricity supply.

They don’t want to make electricity cheaper—perhaps quite the opposite.

– These activities are about preparedness. The desire for cheap electricity is actually a utopia, he tells VG, given the situation in Europe and the fact that three or four years ago we did not develop renewable energy.

Big Overview: You can check the electricity situation in your area here.

Full magazines may increase in price

In many German cities, there are lights and fountains turned off Fearing the consequences of a Russian gas cut to save kilowatt hours. Will electricity supply be required in Norway? It will be For the first time in modern history.

When power companies store more water in reservoirs, the risk of running out of power later is reduced. But at the same time they now produce less electricity, Tomasgard explains.

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– I think a lot of people want to withhold water in reservoirs to get cheap electricity, but really it’s about avoiding rationing, he says, and continues:

– Retaining more water is insurance that you never use. Then there will be less water to generate electricity, and this will lead to higher electricity prices on average.

Difference in export controls

Norway has joined a common European energy market and increased its cable capacity abroad. This led, among other things, to the export of large amounts of Norwegian power to Europe.

Some of this leaves southwest Norway Reservoirs are at low levels Since before this summer.

– One of the reasons Norway has these cables is that they want to sell electricity to Europe at a higher price when they have a surplus and import it when they are in short supply. Another reason is that they protect us when we need them. It is clear that the system is based on faith, and assumes that the market will function in times of crisis, Tomasgard says.

Viji wrote on Wednesday The government is now considering export restrictions To ensure supply security. He believes it won’t have much of an impact on prices.

– It will be less controversial than looking at the filler title in magazines. Often, he says, one has to justify export reductions by avoiding rationing and having even higher prices.

On the other hand, he believes it could spell trouble if he throttles exports even more to provide lower prices for electricity here at a time when power shortages exist in Europe following Russia’s invasion of Norway and Ukraine.

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– That would be a strong signal from Norway. Europe has the highest sky-high prices, while Norway has the lowest prices. If we withhold exports based on the fact that we want a price reduction, he says, it will be viewed very negatively, and adds:

– Other countries may then want to introduce similar restrictions. If this leads to continued limited trade with Europe, Norway will lose money in the long run and have a weak security of supply.

– Simply lack of electricity

– Can anything be done about electricity prices in the short term?

– The reason I think we can’t do anything to lower prices now is simply because there is no electricity, then prices will be higher. There are really no short-term solutions, says Tomaskard.

As a result of the very limited development of renewable energy, he believes that Norway will notice it in prices during dry years.

– New decisions for wind power projects stopped coming 3-4 years ago, at which time wind power became competitive without subsidies, because it was too controversial, he points out.

Friends in power: Finance Minister Trygve Slacksvold Vedum (SP) and Prime Minister Jonas Karstor (AP) are involved in measures to tackle the electricity crisis.

Trust in power support

In addition to measures to protect electricity supply, the government is working to implement a plan for better electricity support for businesses and private households. It should make it easier to pay for expensive electricity.

Tomascard believes this type of action will work better than trying to lower prices themselves.

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– Such projects, if properly designed, can provide incentives for energy efficiency and energy conservation, while compensating businesses and people for unusual burdens. Reservoir filling in the south.

– Can’t stop

Dorr Rier Lilleholt, energy analyst at Value Insight, doesn’t see any moves to lower electricity prices in the first place. He believes export controls won’t work:

– Many people think that if we stop exporting, the price will go down. But when we start it, they will get a different price at the other end, he says.

He says that all power flows towards Europe cannot be stopped.

– To stop exports from Norway, the price must be higher than Germany is willing to pay, he says and continues:

– That’s why southern Norway has raised prices in the past month – it’s the market’s way of limiting exports. In recent days, southern Norway has imported a lot of electricity.

He believes that measures in European countries can adjust the balance of power over time, but prices will remain high for some time.

– The situation is so complicated that countries are putting climate ambitions on hold. But these prices stimulate new investments and reduce consumption