September 28, 2022

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- Very worried - E24

– Very worried – E24

Those who operate the electricity grid in Sweden, Finland and Denmark are asking Norway not to slow down electricity exports. – Depending on whether neighboring countries can trust us, says the head of Energi Norge.

Illustration of power lines in Sweden.
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The warning comes in press release From Danish company Energinet, Svenska kraftnät and Finnish Fingrid.

The three players correspond to the Norwegian Statnett. They run “highways” in the electricity grid of neighboring countries, including international links with Norway and other countries.

Now, the three players have taken the unusual step of sending a message to the Norwegian government. This happens after indications that the government Taking into account the To reduce electricity exports in periods when tank fill is low.

“The energy crisis, along with fluctuations in the electricity market, has led to considerations about intervention in the electricity market,” the three system operators wrote.

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“The Norwegian government recently announced that it has plans to reduce the capacity of power cables to protect the national security of supply,” they wrote.

Fingrid, Energinet and Svenska kraftnät believe that it is especially important to allow the market to function in a time of crisis, and that security of supply is best when everyone cooperates in making available resources.

“We ask the Norwegian government to reassess the situation and not to impose restrictions on the export of power cables,” the three network operators wrote.

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Svenska kraftnät, Energinet and Fingrid say they understand Norway’s need to secure supplies.

“At the same time, we are deeply concerned that the proposed reduction in capacity appears to ignore the benefits of keeping borders open, and fail to recognize that with a well-functioning market security of the electricity supply can be ensured in the most effective way,” they write.

“In the event that export restrictions are allowed within the current European Electricity Regulation, we fear this move will inspire other countries to consider similar restrictions, thus creating a much greater negative impact on the Nordic and European electricity markets,” the system operators write.

Knut Krupelin, Managing Director of Energy Industry Corporation Energi Norge.

You must proceed with great caution

Managing director Knut Krupilin of energy industry organization Energi Norge fears the export brakes could have dire consequences.

– This clearly shows that the government must proceed with great caution when considering a game-changer in our joint force system, says Kroepelien to E24.

“If Norway is to trust that we can import energy for the winter even given the tense situation in our neighboring countries, we are entirely dependent on our neighbors being able to trust us when they need it,” he adds.

He points out that the Nordic countries have had good cross-border cooperation for 30 years, and believes that Norway should not create uncertainty about cooperation.

– It is right and important that the government consider mechanisms to ensure the degree to which Norwegian magazines are filled in a very tense situation, but confidence that we can also exchange power in times of crisis, it is important to stick to that, he says.

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Many demands for export brake

Already in September last year, the industrial company Elkem came out at E24 and asked politicians to step back from exports. Industri Energi leader Frode Alfheim E24 also told the energy industry should step back from the water.

In November, Statnet said it would not intervene at that time. The company expected at the time that gas shipments to Europe would eventually return to normal.

Norwegian industry chief Stein Leer Hansen was also skeptical about export brakes, and feared backlash. Since then, it has introduced more stringent requirements, in the form of a code of conduct for the export of energy.

Rødt’s Sophie Marhaug had called early on for exports to be curbed last year. She was afraid the magazines would be drained too much. She believes Norway should have room to hold on to more.

– I think what happened last winter is that we produced and exported beyond our capacity, and too much for the supplies we have, Marhoj tells E24.

We must take into account the security of the supply as well as the environment in the waterways, and there must be room for that within the current rules.

Rødt also wants to regulate exports for price reasons.

– It might be more controversial, but I think it’s the right thing to do anyway. We believe that the electricity market does not work when energy that costs 12 øre to produce is as expensive as we see it now. Then we lose our competitive advantage. Marhaug says it is affecting small businesses and turning Norway into a producer of raw materials.

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Representative of Parliament, Sophie Marhaug (right).

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We trust politicians

Cecilie Bjelland is the Energy Director of the Samfunnsbedriftene organization, which regulates many companies in the power and grid industry.

– I understand that they have a need to address their concerns, as you say about the procedure from Energinet, Fingrid and Svenska kraftnät.

– But I feel that there is a political majority to continue responsible policy with regard to external cables, although of course we must protect the security of our supply. This is another indication from other Nordic countries that this is also important for countries other than Norway, says Byland.

– So there is room to work?

– There is room to make some moves. Basically, we should have secured supplies in Norway, and that’s been the basis all along, she says.

The question is what do we do if we enter a gray area, and there are other countries that are actually asking us to be a little careful. This is a decision for politicians to make, and I am sure they are sane. That’s why they’re now taking it easy and considering all possibilities, she says.

It asks the government to think carefully before taking any drastic measures, in order to secure the supply in the long run. But it also sees room for negotiations with the EU, especially since Norway has been generous and has taken extensive steps to provide more gas.

– We hope that the authorities see the entirety of the energy policy, and see gas and electricity in its context, she said.

Cecily Byland, Energy Director at Samfunnsbedriftene.

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