With the increasing rates of power consumption in the world, the importance of good electricity supply cannot be faulted in the development of a country’s economy. Because of this, Norway has set itself apart from many countries because of its electric supply in the national grid – each Norwegian uses an average of 27MWh, according to a 2008 study. The country mainly relies on hydroelectric power, and a significant part of the entire generation of electricity is used up by the national industry.
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How is power transmitted?
Norway relies on the system operator known as Statnett. This provider operates about 11,000 kilometers of high power lines throughout the country.
The company does not rest on its achievements, however. There are extensive plans to improve the western grid of the country to produce a minimum of 420kV, up from a maximum of 300kV. This upgrade costs the operator 8 billion NOK, and part of this cost goes to adjusting to cables to nearby England and Germany.
Almost 70% of the grid lacks grounding, and this is referred to as IT-Nett. West of the capital Oslo, a single-phase AC grid usually operates.it produces a small voltage of about 16.7Hz frequency, and this is mainly for use in electric railways.
Interesting facts on power supply in Norway
An interesting aspect is that the country has an open market for electricity, and this is integrated fully with other Nordic countries. The import and export of power is usual and happens over direct links to the Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden.
The Nord Pool Spot as well as the NASDAQ OMX commodities Europe handle these power transactions, and Norway alone has five different price zones.
An advantage that makes these power imports and exports possible is the good design of the hydroelectric power plants. Norway is particularly recognized by many countries because of its unique approach to making highly environment friendly and efficient hydroelectric power plants and stations. The country sets itself apart from many because of the good power distribution; in fact, over 90 percent of the total capacity of hydro power is owned by the public and is spread across various states, counties and municipalities.
The power plants have easily adjustable designs, which allows them to quickly and efficiently adjust to demand and supply changes, which makes them change prices frequently. The inherent drawback is that the stability of frequency is mot very satisfactory, so this is where the operator steps in – Statnett works in conjunction with power producers to make sure there are minimal sudden changes in supply.
On normal days, when the night time price is low, Norway imports power. During the daytime, the price is higher so the country will export power. This leads to inherent issues with power outages because of the struggle of maintaining the National grid, which forces one to choose between economy and stable power supply.