In recent months, Norway has had some trouble with its hydropower production. Hydropower uses the flow and movement of water to create renewable energy. Being one of the main power sources for Norway, and Europe, hydropower has become a pressing issue.
There are two main causes for this shortage. First, Norway’s dry winter and spring have led them to a dry summer. This means many of the country’s reservoirs are at a record breaking low.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine is also a factor. Due to the current embargo of Russian fuels, Norway is now using its hydropower to cover over 90% of the country’s electricity needs. This is an unprecedented situation.
Norway’s hydropower reservoirs were not built to fuel 90% of the country’s electricity. Meaning the country is now facing a power crisis.
Lan Marie Berg, Parliamentary representative for the Green Party of Norway, Miljøpartiet De Grønne (MDG), says the government must look for long-term solutions, as the problem is not going away on its own.
Solutions Given by the MDG
First, the MDG leader says the government should allocate more money to making Norway homes energy smart. The country has been dependent on high levels of consumption avec low-priced fuel. The MDG proposes that the government pay 50% of all energy saving measures on homes, such as improving insulation.
Next, the Green Party proposes the government make their subsidy arrangement more equitable for the population. Currently, those with the highest consumption get the most money back. This leaves no incentive for people to reduce their energy consumption. Lan Marie Berg believes money distribution should be made according to people who need it most.
The Green Party then proposes to invest more money into solar power. In the long-term, investing more money on renewable energy will help the population reduce electricity costs.
Lastly, the MDG believes there should be stricter requirements regarding the water reservoirs. By adding harsher restrictions to the amount of water that can be drained from the reservoirs in the dry season, it reduces the chances of facing another shortage.
Although the Green Party has given multiple different solutions that could help with the energy shortage, the party is still urging the government to take the problem more seriously.
The political solution cannot simply be to throw temporary money at the problem. The politicians’ responsibility is to give us a long-term and robust energy situation and avoid us ending up in such crises again and again. Anything else is doing us all a disservice.
Lan Marie Berg, Parliamentary representative for Miljøpartiet De Grønne
The government must come up with long-term solutions that will improve the political accountability for energy shortages, as well as improve the financial situation its population finds itself in.