Saturday, December 4

Send electricity to Norway – E24


Norway will import electricity from the UK for the first time tonight, for a few hours, with negative UK electricity prices. – Now it is working very well in the UK, says Henrik Glette in Statnett.

This image is of the North Sea Link power cable run between Norway and the UK.

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After the North Sea Link power cord went into trial operation on October 1, the electricity has largely gone one way, and it’s from Norway to the UK.

But tonight the price of electricity in the UK will drop completely in the red. This means, in principle, that the British are paid to use electricity during the period when the price of electricity is negative (not including taxes related to the use of electricity).

Then the stream also begins to flood Norway. Therefore, for three hours tonight, British electricity will flow into Norway.

– It is now very windy in the UK and since they use little electricity at night their prices plummet. Then we will be able to import electricity from them for the first time, says communications manager Henrik Glette at Statnett at E24.

Kinect Energy analyst John Brottemsmo is not surprised that Norway can import some British electricity for the first time.

– No. We expected this and have also observed that the flow between Germany and Norway changes during periods of high winds. It’s reasonable that the same is the case in the UK, Brottemsmo tells E24.

Large price variations

However, for most of the next 24 hours, the cable will run at full power from the Norwegian side. Electricity is generally much more expensive in the UK than in Norway, and then the cable flow goes there.

Electricity prices in the UK vary widely throughout the day. On Thursday, prices fluctuate from minus 11 øre per kilowatt hour at night to 2.77 crowns per kilowatt hour between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m., according to high from the Nord Pool energy exchange.

– It is likely that in the future they will still be mainly exported to the British via this cable, but over time there may be situations where we import British energy more frequently. They have huge ambitions to develop wind power, especially offshore, says Glette.

Electricity prices on the Norwegian side are also affected by the fact that UK electricity prices are low for a few hours at night, but the price will not be negative in Norway. The price in southern Norway is at its lowest at 19 øre per kilowatt hour until tomorrow night, according to Nord Pool.

– Strong wind energy production

– Why are UK prices dropping tonight?

– There is strong wind power production in the UK at the moment, and the weather forecast indicates that it will continue. The UK is in a somewhat special situation, they don’t have enough energy during the day, but it often exceeds at night, says Brottemsmo.

In recent decades, the UK has increased offshore gas and wind power production and shut down much of its coal-based power. However, it creates challenges for the electrical system as a whole, Brottemsmo notes.

– As the UK has increased its offshore wind capacity, it has also removed some of the power from coal, which has the ability to run around the clock, he says.

– It has been difficult to obtain enough gas energy to compensate in periods when the wind decreases. The price variation shows that a large proportion of wind power in the system can be challenging, Brottemsmo says.

– So far from Norway

The UK has invested heavily in offshore wind in recent years and now has a capacity of 10.5 gigawatts of offshore wind. The country aims to increase capacity to 40 gigawatts by 2030, which will be able to produce between 160 and 170 terawatt hours (TWh) of electricity per year, more than all Norwegian hydropower.

– Will there be more imports from the British when they increase their offshore wind capacity?

– It can probably be true sometimes. But it must also be said that the weather is always against normal. A period with very strong winds where the British export a lot to us will probably often be followed by periods with weak winds where they have to import a lot from us, says Brottemsmo.

– Since the England cable was put into operation, there has been little wind in the UK and therefore power has left Norway until now, he adds.

– I think it will be the majority of exports.

– Many are skeptical of English cable, but can we import more electricity over time?

– I throw myself at the skeptics, I think it will be the majority of exports from Norway via the North Sea Link cable in the future, says Brottemsmo.

But, in the long term, it is possible to equalize the variations in the electrical system and guarantee more stable prices. The British are investing in hydrogen, among other things, and have also launched plans on building more nuclear power to balance the system.

Until further notice, the green switch will offer unpredictable and weather-dependent electricity prices for the British.

“Until we get solutions that mitigate the climate dependence of the system, such as hydrogen, batteries and nuclear power, the British will probably continue to see these big price differences throughout the day, depending on when the wind is blowing,” says Brottemsmo.


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