Germany has decided to phase out all of its nuclear power plants by 2022, a total of 21 000 MW. The phasing out of the first 8 000 MW of production capacity will reduce access to power generation this coming winter. This means that Europe as a whole may experience a strained operating situation should important transmission interconnectors or production units shut down, according to prognoses from ENTSO-E (European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity) for the coming winter.

Potential deficit of 5 000 MW

The report indicates that the operating situation could become strained in cold weather. Both in Germany and France a deficit of more than 5 000 MW is expected on very cold days. There will be physical capacity to import this from neighbouring regions. The combination of very cold weather and a shutdown of important transmission interconnectors or production units could make the operating situation in the European power system strained.

Norwegian power system not affected

Looking at the Norwegian effect balance in isolation, it is positive, even on very cold winter days. A possible strained European situation is considered to have minimal operational technical significance for the Norwegian power system. In such situations, the export signal for our international interconnectors increases. The European prognoses underline Norway’s potential role as a supplier of capacity in the coming “renewable” European power system.

ENTSO-E’s “Winter Outlook Report 2011/2012”