By Paul Homewood
This small note appeared on the Energy Market Price website today:
Norway’s power production surplus is expected to fall significantly by 2026, with the south of the country moving into deficit owing to rapidly increasing demand, power grid operator Statnett said on Friday.
Power demand in Norway is expected to grow to 158 terawatt hours (TWh) by 2026, up by 19 TWh from current levels, driven by demand from offshore oil and gas platforms and new onshore consumers, such as data centres, Statnett said in its latest market analysis.
The biggest increase is expected in the southern part of the country, where the most of Norway’s power-intensive industries are located, along with new projects such as electrification of the Johan Sverdrup and surrounding offshore fields.
It is surprisingly understated for something with huge ramifications for the stability of the European power grid.
We know of course that Denmark is already heavily reliant on Norway for balancing its grid, taking surplus power when wind power is abundant, and returning it when it is short.
Germany too is becoming increasingly dependent on Norway, for similar reasons.
However, as coal and nuclear power is increasingly shut down, many countries are looking at Norway to fill the gap when renewable power is not performing.
Virtually all of Norway’s electricity comes from hydro, and last year total generation amounted to 154 TWh. According to this latest report, demand in Norway will rise from 139 to 158 TWh by 2026.
In other words, the surplus that Norway has traditionally had in the past is going to disappear.
The report mentions incresing demand from industry and oil production, but as Bloomberg reported earlier this year, demand is also rising rapidly because of electric cars and heat pumps, both of which will continue to grow:
And when southern Norway is short of power, will the country carry on exporting electricity to the rest of Europe?
Don’t hold your breath!