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Source: Government of Norway

The Ministry of Petroleum and Energy (MPE) has informed NorthConnect that the Ministry lacks sufficient information at this point to reach a decision on the license applications for a new interconnector for electricity. Before such a decision can be made, a better understanding of the effects on the power system from the operation of the two interconnectors currently under construction needs to be established.

The Norwegian Water and Energy Directorate (NVE) has provided a comprehensive assessment of the applications from NorthConnect for the licenses required to establish a 1400 megawatt interconnector between Norway and Scotland. NVE’s assessment has been subject to a public consultation, together with a report on conditions and price development in the power market in Norway and Northern Europe. The effect of the interconnector on the Norwegian power system has been an important topic both in the assessment from the NVE and in the responses coming from the public consultation process.

The Energy Act shall ensure that energy is generated, converted, transmitted, traded, distributed and used rationally, and to the benefit of the society. This includes taking into consideration all public and private interests affected.

– The Norwegian and Nordic power system is going through significant changes, at a rapid pace. Two new interconnectors, to the UK and Germany respectively, will be commissioned in the near future. At this point in time, we do not have sufficient information to reach a decision regarding NorthConnect in accordance with the stipulations of the Energy Act. First we need to get a better understanding of the effects of the operation of the two interconnectors currently under construction, says Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Tina Bru.

In addition to the two interconnectors now being built, considerable intermittent wind power is under construction in Norway, the Nordics and in Europe, while flexible fossil power production is being phased out. At the same time, electricity forms an increasing share of energy consumption. These changes affects the power system, also making the operation of the power supply system more challenging.  

– Power exchange with our neighboring countries is both beneficial and necessary. It contributes with value creation and jobs in Norway. In this picture, NorthConnect is an interesting project. However, with the changes we see in our power system today and in the coming years, we do not have sufficient knowledge to say whether the positive effects of the project outweighs the negative ones for public and private interests concerned. In other words, today’s decision is neither a yes or a no to the NorthConnect project, because we do not have sufficient information to make such a decision at this time, says Minister of Petroleum and Energy Tina Bru.

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