Monday, January 17

SV’s electricity crisis solution: The state will buy the electricity for you

HAVE A PLAN: SV’s Lars Haltbrekken says they will present their plan to the government this spring.

SV proposes to revolutionize the electricity market by creating a state giant that will buy electricity from the power companies on long-term contracts – and which will give you a stable low electricity bill.

This is confirmed by SV’s energy policy spokesperson, Lars Haltbrekken, to VG.

– There are many indications that the price of electricity will be at a high level over time, because there will be such a large demand for electricity. Then the state must line up so that not most people are left with a sky-high bill, he says and presents SV’s plan.

– What we propose is to establish a state electricity company that buys power from the producers and sells it on to Norwegian consumers and businesses, where they will have the basic need for electricity covered at a reasonable price.

He says it will be a bit like the industrial power contracts that Hydro and Elkem have, where they can enter into fixed price agreements several decades in the future.

– Thus, they get a very low electricity price via that fixed price, says Haltbrekken.

Saturday Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre (Labor Party) and Minister of Finance Trygve Slagsvold Vedum (Social Democrats) told how they want to solve the short-term electricity crisis.

– Sits and foams the market

Haltbrekken says that they want to look at all parts of how the market works and that state-owned electricity companies are one of them. The specific proposals will be formulated during the winter and submitted in the spring.

– This is a plan to ensure that we do not get into similar situations as in winter, where the market is severely unbalanced. I think people will have a system in the future that can prevent such crises, says Haltbrekken.

He elaborates on what this new state-owned corporation will do.

– How the new company will be organized we will look at in the future, but the framework is that you will enter into an agreement with this state-owned company, to buy electricity for your home for one, two, ten, twenty years ahead, depending on your need, at an agreed fixed price.

– You can do that with the electricity companies today; enter into an agreement on a fixed price and get a lower electricity price?

– Yes, but they sit and skim this market and take a significant profit. A government agency can be ordered not to do so.

– How should a scheme organized by a state company work?

– We will use a top-price system where the basic consumption costs so much and if you use more than that, it will cost more.

HOPE: Haltbrekken is sometimes very stylish in the clothes on the Storting’s rostrum. Now he hopes to get the government and the Storting on their solution.

He says this is the core of the model:

– The state-owned company will go to the power producers and buy so many terrawatt hours, for the next twenty years. Then the state sells this purchased electricity to Norwegian households and businesses for a reasonable amount of money. If the state enters into such a gigantic agreement, they will get a very low price.

– Have you knocked on the door of Minister of Finance Vedum and Prime Minister Støre and presented this proposal from SV?

– We have barely talked about it and then we will have the energy report that will be processed during the spring, where the government will come with an additional report. We will promote the proposal in connection with the processing of that message.

Critics might call it a meaningless state SV solution. Haltbrekken uses another word:

– That is genius. If you go to an electricity company and say you have a consumption of, say, 15,000 kilowatt hours, then you have no bargaining power. But the state wants it on behalf of all Norwegian consumers. This will result in stable low electricity prices in Norway.

Found spagat

Haltbrekken and SV are not only afraid of the price of electricity. He sees that Norwegian politicians are in a very bad split – between your wallet and reaching the climate goals:

The Storting has decided that Norway’s climate emissions should be reduced by 50 to 55 percent by 2030, compared to the 1990 level.

One of the important measures to achieve this is to reduce emissions from Norwegian platforms, in that oil production must shift from emission-heavy power plants to electricity, so-called electrification. But with today’s electricity prices, it is politically difficult to obtain electricity from land to electrify the shelf.

Minister of Finance Trygve Slagsvold Vedum told VG on Christmas Eve that it is completely inappropriate to go for a solution that will give increased electricity prices for industry and people on land.

State Secretary Amund Vik (Labor Party) in the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy comments on Haltbrekken’s proposal as follows in a written comment:

– The government is following the situation in the electricity market closely and is continuously assessing the need for new measures. I do not want to rule anything out here and now and am happy for input from Haltbrekken.

It was in front of the fireplace in the living room at Ilseng that Trygve Slagsvold Vedum

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