Advertisement
If you have a new account but can't post, please email Niamh on [email protected] for help to verify your email address. Thanks :)
New AMA with a US police officer (he's back!). You can ask your questions here

Energy Crisis Beckons in Europe this winter

  • 26-03-2011 12:40pm
    #1
    Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 ✭✭✭✭ Sponge Bob


    http://www.statnett.no/en/News/News-archive-Temp/News-archive-2011/The-power-situation-gives-rise-to-increasing-concern/

    Norway can normally be relied upon to boost the EU grid when we most need a fillip. However .

    16 March 2011

    Reservoirs have been drained to historically low levels, despite high import of power from our neighbouring countries so far this winter. In January, the import record was broken in one month with a net import of 2.3 billion kilowatt hours (TWh). Since 1 November 2010 and until today, 6.3 TWh have been imported. After record cold temperatures during November and December, the situation was assessed as tight in Central and Southern Norway. The situation improved somewhat in January, but developments in February and March meant that reservoirs were drained more than expected.

    ”The latest measurements show an average reservoir level of 22.8 percent – 22.5 percentage points lower than normal. The biggest challenges may lie in the situation for the power system in Southern Norway, where reservoir levels are down to approx. 20 percent,” says Executive Vice President Øivind Rue, Statnett.

    Earlier this winter, Statnett and Enova launched a big campaign for saving electricity. In addition, Statnett has emphasised operation of its foreign interconnectors to maintain the highest import capacity possible.

    ALSO

    http://in.reuters.com/article/2011/03/25/us-norway-power-idINTRE72O3KY20110325
    Overall, water reservoirs that feed Norway's hydro-plants are only 20.6 percent full, compared with an average of 44.3 percent for this time of the year.

    Sweden's reservoirs are even emptier -- 14.9 percent against a long-term average of 34.9 percent -- but it is less dependent than Norway on hydro-power.

    'GREEN BATTERY' RUNNING LOW

    Such problems put a damper on plans, aired by the European Union and the International Energy Agency, to transform hydro-rich Norway into Europe's "green battery" by exporting its clean energy to help Europe achieve its goal of using renewable energy for 20 percent of its needs by 2020.

    And the big buffer supply is supposed to be snow...which melts from now on. Except there ain't none :(


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,188 ✭✭✭ lucernarian


    Jaysus SB, I thought this was a Daily Mail article you were linking to;)

    A lot can change meteorlogically in the space of a few months. However, the EU would be very optimistic if they see Norway as the battery of Europe, simply because most of the "low-hanging" fruit has been picked with regards to hydroelectric plants. The Norwegians can't offer much more hydro power and they're expanding their wind production too which will not significantly help with any hydro power fluctuations.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 ✭✭✭✭ Sponge Bob


    You mean ONLY if it rains all summer TBC :) Normally snow runoff is the single most important factor with rainfall a secondary consideration. Norway is something like 98% Hydro, despite their gas production they produce very little electricity from any other source.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 878 rainbowdash


    Does this not make "Spirit of Ireland" look like a bit of a white elephant?

    Surely if one was to develop the Spirit of Ireland concept then using wind power and excess off peak capacity from Europe to fill Norways tanks would be the way to go to test the concept.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,188 ✭✭✭ lucernarian


    How much pumped storage does Norway have as opposed to straightforward Hydro?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 878 rainbowdash


    How much pumped storage does Norway have as opposed to straightforward Hydro?

    I don't know if they have any, but the point is they already have the dams etc. so if possible they could trial the spirit of ireland concept by retrofitting pumped storage into the existing systems.


  • Advertisement
  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 ✭✭✭✭ Sponge Bob


    Not if they are inland up a mountain, were they to build along the coast then maybe, But not by this winter, mmm'kays !! :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,781 ✭✭✭ Carawaystick


    I don't know if they have any, but the point is they already have the dams etc. so if possible they could trial the spirit of ireland concept by retrofitting pumped storage into the existing systems.

    Not if they have Pelton Turbines and are not made of salt resistant materials.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 25,234 ✭✭✭✭ Sponge Bob


    I don't think Norway had this problem before, they are 98% hydro like I said and can shut the dams off or throttle back when there is no demand for electricity ...like at night. Pumped storage (historically) is for using electricity you are 'stuck' with at night from a fossil/nuclear plant. It is entirely inappropriate in Norway who have no fossil plant at all :) Mind you the Norwegians may look benignly at the Spirit of Ireland model...'going forward' like :D

    Norway has no backup generation in case of drought, it only produces Hydro and a smidge of wind and biomass for the other 1-2% of demand. See here . They don't even land their own gas ashore in sufficient quantities, it is piped straight to market further south in many cases.

    The last two winters have been cold and dry if you will recall. I think they could have coped with a single dry winter...but 2 on the trot ????

    I have every confidence in their ability to add more dams and storage over time all the same ...just not by this year.


Advertisement