Norway, the world's third-biggest oil exporter, is unable to produce enough electricity for its needs because of pollution rules
Norway, the world's third-biggest oil exporter, is unable to produce enough electricity for its needs because of pollution rules.
Norway uses water-driven turbines for 99 percent of its power, has been a net importer of power in four of the past six years. Still, the government won't allow any oil, gas and coal plants to be built until new technology makes them pollution-free. It opposes nuclear energy.
That has prompted Norsk Hydro to rule out any major investment in its domestic market amid concern power prices will become prohibitive. Norway has lost a tenth of its metals, paper and refinery jobs in two years. More jobs could go because companies say the government isn't looking out for their interests, according to the Federation of Norwegian Processing Industries.
Norway's reliance on water-generated electricity means weather conditions can cause large swings in prices. Last year's autumn was the driest since dams were built, sending wholesale prices on the Nordic Nord Pool power exchange to record high level. The price for next-day power averaged 294 kroner ($42.04) in the first nine months of the year compared with 103 kroner in 2000.