Norway’s once-reasonable electricity rates look set to rise again, this time because of a surprising lack of water in mountain reservoirs that had been expected to generate hydro-electric power. A recent heat wave over Southern Norway prompted more snow and ice to evaporate instead of melting and filling dams.
Summer usually brings lower electricity bills, because of lower demand after cold winters and spring but also because of plentiful supply. Spring rain and snowmelt are supposed to fill reservoirs at this time of year.
This year things are different. Not only have high temperatures led to far more evaporation, there’s been very little rain in Southern Norway this spring and none at all in recent weeks.
“There’s been very little precipitation from February until now,” Olav Johan Botnen of Wattsight told newspaper Aftenposten. State broadcaster NRK aired video of low water levels in mountain reservoirs Monday night, just after power companies had sold more electricity to Europe, further reducing supply for Norwegians. Electricity bills are expected to double in some areas this summer compared to last year at this time.