Hydropower Producer Reporting (Norway)

On 13th July 2022 the oil and energy minister Terje Aasland tasked the Norwegian Directorate of Water Resources and Energy (NVE) to establish a reporting scheme for the large hydropower producers in Southern Norway. The press release is here.

This press release states (translated) – NVE will soon send a letter to Statnett and the power producers to establish the temporary reporting scheme for storage power in the price areas in southern Norway. The reporting will give Statnett, NVE and the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy a basis for assessing whether further measures are necessary to ensure security of supply in the winter and spring period 2022-23. The reporting scheme will initially last until the summer of 2023.

It is important that the power companies in southern Norway now withhold water that can be stored for the winter. I would like to emphasize that, as of today, there is a low probability of rationing in the spring. It is nevertheless important that we take the situation seriously. I do not want to rule out that it may be appropriate to introduce further measures, in which case it is important that the choices we make are well thought out. This reporting scheme will contribute to that, says Aasland.

On 8 August, Terje Aasland, told the Norwegian parliament that refilling dams will be prioritised over power production when levels fall below the seasonal average.

On 15 August, Terje Aasland gave an update – here. In this he states that the NVE has been asked to assess the scope for setting water storage restrictions in reservoirs serving hydropower plants, and Statnett has been asked to provide weekly assessments. He also states that a separate management mechanism will be established to ensure that more water is saved in the reservoirs at low water levels and that the export of power is limited in such cases.

Relevant laws will be added to Norway systems.

FTA UK & Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway (UK)

Thursday 8th July, trade ministers from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway signed a free trade agreement (FTA) with the UK. Conclusion of negotiations on an FTA had been announced on 4th June, and Norway had published the text (English language starts at page 105).

The UK trade minister made a statement to Parliament (8th July) – here.

Norway’s minister of trade and industry remarks at 4th June press conference on the matter – here, Norway’s press release (4th June) here.

The signed legal text will be published in the UK shortly, along with the Explanatory Memorandum that is a statutory requirement under the Constitutional Reform and Governance (CRaG) Act.

The Explanatory Memorandum provides the context, explaining what the new treaty is meant to achieve, what legislation (if any) will be needed to implement it, when it will take effect, the financial implications, and the territorial application of the agreement.

I will blog post again when the further documents are published.