Extreme cold sets electricity records

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An Arctic freeze that descended first on Northern Norway, and now on Southern Norway, has led to record levels of electricity consumption in the country’s most northerly counties. Never before had they used as much electricity as they did on Wednesday of this week.

Statnett, in charge of Norway’s power grid, reported that Finnmark, Troms and the northern portions of Nordland counties broke an old record at 3pm on Wednesday when consumption hit 1670 megawatts.

Statnett officials told state broadcaster NRK that they were expecting record-breaking consumption in other parts of the country as well, after temperatures sunk to around minus-20C in Oslo and even lower in outlying areas on Friday.

The cold weather has also sent firewood sales soaring. While many households in Norway have firewood delivered, or chop their own, it’s also sold in most gasoline stations, and they were having troubled keeping up with demand.

“We’ve had three truckloads of firewood delivered, with 1,104 sacks of wood in each delivery,” Tone Holmgren at the Esso petrol station in Hammerfest told NRK. It was selling out quickly: “Firewood gives a different kind of warmth, and it smells good,” Holmgren said. The cold snap was expected to continue well into next week.

newsinenglish.no staff