Norway announced plans to cut all electricity exports to protect domestic supplies in times of shortage. This would be a major blow to the UK’s energy security as Britain has been importing significant amounts of electricity from Norway since 2021, when it opened a cable. The UK is connected to Norway by a 450-mile interconnector, which connects Blyth and Northumberland to Kvilldal’s power station via cables that run through North Sea. This power station is Norway’s largest hydroelectric facility and is essential to the National Grid’s ability keep the lights on in the UK during low domestic electricity generation.
On Friday, however, Norway’s Prime Minster Jonas Gahr Stoere stated that Norway could stop exports in the event that a heatwave causes water resources to drop to an all-time low.
He stated, “We want to make sure there is always enough water. We should always have enough power at home and enough for our industry.
Oslo announced as part of the bill measures that will make hydropower producers legally responsible for maintaining water reservoirs above certain levels.
Shell, the energy giant, has announced that it is reviewing its energy- and retail divisions and may consider ceasing its supplier-side business. This move, in addition to threatening 2,000 jobs for the UK, could also be a major blow to the UK’s energy industry.
Norway warned last year that it could reduce power exports if hydropower reservoirs drop below a certain level. This raises concerns that the UK may face blackouts in winter.
The PS1.4billion North sea link between the UK, Norway and England has a capacity to generate 1.4 gigawatts of electricity. This is enough power to power approximately 1.4 million homes.
The Surveillance Authority of the European Free Trade Association, of which Norway is a Member, expressed concern about the bill and said that it would talk with the government.
NTB was informed by a spokesperson for the body that any measures that could restrict the power market in Europe’s Economic Area are concerning.
Norway’s government has been under pressure to reduce household bills, which have skyrocketed to record levels since the invasion of Ukraine by Russia.
Oslo responded to criticisms of the bill by comparing it with the EU’s efforts last summer to prioritise filling gasoline storage in order to ensure adequate winter supplies.
Stoere stated that this was not an attack on any country. It’s a measure against securing, in future, a stable supply of energy from the Norwegian hydrosystem.
Around 90 percent of electricity in Norway is generated by hydropower. This alarming figure was raised last August when production levels in the southwest fell to their lowest level.
Norway’s winter electricity supply cuts could pose a threat to the UK’s energy security. The National Grid warned that it could use its “three-hour planned powers” to cut electricity supplies if it does not have enough.
The National Grid and the energy companies launched the first live version of the Demand Flexibility Service last week. This service aims to reduce peak energy consumption to balance the grid.
This scheme paid smart-meter owners for lowering their energy consumption for an hour or so. This helped to prevent blackouts due to poor weather and low wind production.
On Thursday, France’s grid operator RTE asked the UK for assistance by exporting power supplies. This was in response to concerns that strikes at France’s power plants could lead to low production.