Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre (Labor Party) was pressured about the high electricity prices during Wednesday’s Question Time in the Storting.
Several parties chose to use the spontaneous question time on Wednesday to push Støre on electricity prices, which have been at record highs for large parts of the autumn and winter.
SV leader Audun Lysbakken referred to his own party’s proposal to establish a state-owned company that will buy electricity from the power companies, so that people can cover a normal electricity consumption for a reasonable amount of money.
He wanted to know how the government should ensure a “down-to-earth, social democratic policy” in this area.
Skeptical of maximum price and top price model
Støre, for his part, expressed skepticism about proposals that directly interfere with the current system, such as the maximum price for electricity and the top price model. FRP has proposed a maximum price of 50 øre per kilowatt hour, while Rødt demands that the limit be set at 35 øre.
– As a general attitude, I believe that we must be careful that if we replace one system with another, we must be confident that that system is better, says Støre.
– I believe, for example, that there are reasons to say that the concept of maximum price can have effects that are not good for the way we produce new power and for customers. I think I have seen reports that a top-price system, which provides the opportunity to divide a large household in two, is not a recommended measure, Støre continued.
Conservative Nikolai Astrup followed up by saying that he was pleased that the Prime Minister rejected SV’s “attempt at a planned economic arrangement of the electricity system”.
Called for a clearer definition
Støre was also challenged on what the government really thinks about hybrid cables by Conservative leader Erna Solberg. The background is that the Center Party and the Labor Party have apparently disagreed on what the Hurdal platform says about the case.
Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre (Labor Party) believes that it must be investigated further whether offshore wind with hybrid cables can in reality lead to power transmission to other countries.
– I think the challenge is that we need a clearer definition of what a hybrid cable will mean, Støre said.
According to Støre, the government will now go more thoroughly into the issue in an additional report to the energy report that the Solberg government presented last summer.
Warned against putting offshore wind plans into play
– One of the questions is then how offshore wind turbines should be connected to Norway, and possibly to other countries, Støre said in question time.
– We need to go more thoroughly into how the offshore wind platforms can be designed, how they can supply power to Norway, we need more power to Norway, and how they can supply power to oil and gas installations on the shelf. And whether in some cases they can also have power exchanges with other countries.
Solberg, for his part, warned that a no to hybrid cables could threaten offshore wind plans.
– The players in the most mature project we have, Sørlige Nordsjø II, say that hybrid cables are absolutely crucial for whether they will be able to expand the field, she said.