The Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE) has asked Statnett to analyze measures to handle a potential very strained power situation (SAKS measures).

The rapport will assess the need for measures to secure the electricity supply in the winter of 2022/2023. The probability of rationing is still considered low, but the probability is present if the weather in Norway gets cold and dry at the same time as a decrease in potential power imports from countries around us.

- All the stakeholders in the power system have a responsibility to minimize the risk of power rationing. It is important that we now act together as a team, and design measures that strengthen security of supply, said Statnett's CEO, Hilde Tonne.

-We must take advantage of our combined expertise to manage hydropower and find rational ways to reduce consumption if we find ourselves in a strained situation this winter.

Norway has a well-functioning power system that normally provides a high degree of security of supply, with large water reservoirs that provide energy for the winter and large exchange capacity with several countries. The scarcity of energy in Europe and the energy crisis Europe is facing may however affect the possibilities for power imports to southern Norway in the coming winter. Together with low hydropower reservoirs this might be a challenge to sufficient power supply in southern Norway in the spring of 2023.

Possible measures

In the months to come Statnett recommends the following measures to improve the energy situation and to handle the more strained power situations, should it arise:

  1. Maintain and further develop the follow-up of producers to ensure that sufficient water is retained throughout the winter season where there is no rain filling up reservoirs
  2. Carry out information campaigns to reduce consumption within public sector activities
  3. Enter into an agreement to enable production at Equinor's gas fired power plant in Mongstad
  4. Enter into agreements with industrial companies on a reduction in consumption if the risk of rationing increases over the winter (energy options)
  5. Activate energy options and/or start production at Mongstad Power Plant

- There are several measures that can improve energy security in southern Norway until we go into spring, but it is important that measures are carried out in such a way that it does not lead to unintended consequences for the power market. This implies the use of several measures and tools in combination, says Hilde Tonne.

- It is an important principle that it is the market players who have the main responsibility for minimizing the likelihood of us ending up in a situation of rationing. New measures introduced to improve the current situation should be based on this principle, concludes Tonne.