Norwegian Hydropower Producers Save Water on Dry, Cold Forecast

Forecasts for drier, cooler weather means Norwegian hydropower producers have more incentive to save water for later use and run less volume through turbines, the country’s water and energy directorate said.

The latest forecasts point to cool and dry weather as runoff this week may total 1.9 terawatt-hours, 70 percent of the seasonal average, along with rain amounts equivalent to 1 terawatt-hour or 30 percent of average, the agency said today in a website report.

“This may explain why hydropower production has dropped in the past week,” the report said to describe the Oct. 1 to Oct. 7 period. Dry weather also makes it economical for hydropower producers to store water for later use, which may prop up power prices, according to the directorate.

Norway get as much as 99 percent of its power needs by running water through turbines while the Nordic region as a whole gets half its power use from hydroelectricity.

Norway produced 2,568 gigawatt-hours of power last week, down 3.4 percent from a week earlier. Combined with rising runoff at rivers, this helped hydro reservoir levels climb 0.5 percentage points to 91.6 percent full last week, 4.3 percentage points above the seasonal median and 4 percentage points higher than a year ago, according to the directorate.

Norway has seen 97.0 terawatt-hours of rain this year, 3.0 terawatt-hours above average.

To contact the reporter on this story: Torsten Fagerholm in Helsinki at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Lars Paulsson at

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