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Norway Grid Manager ‘Excessively’ Nationalistic, Vattenfall Says

Vattenfall AB, the Nordic region’s biggest utility, said Norway’s grid operator Statnett SF has an “excessively national” perspective which hampers the harmonized development of the Nordic power system.

“Norway implements a strictly national perspective when gauging the benefit of boosting transmission grids and building cross-border links,” Joeran Haegglund, head of Vattenfall’s public and regulatory affairs, wrote in a letter to Svenska Kraftnaet AB, the Swedish grid operator, dated Dec. 11 and e-mailed by the network manager.

The European Commission plans to create an internal power market for the bloc by late 2014, allowing electricity to flow freely across borders. Countries need to boost links to pave the way for more wind and solar energy, helping ship excess power from nations with prevalent wind and sunshine to others where demand is high, according to the regulator.

In a response to a public consultation by the Swedish grid operator, Vattenfall said “the Nordic region lacks a sufficiently harmonized view” on power transmission investments. It urged the grid company, the Swedish Energy Markets Inspectorate and the government to add to pressure on neighboring countries to develop the network from a joint perspective, according to the letter.

Statnett has “the most ambitious plans for new power links that stretch outside of the Nordic region by 2020,” while pledging to carry out investments that are profitable for the area as a whole, Executive Vice President Gunnar G. Loevas said today by e-mail from Oslo.

There is an inherent risk that national priorities override joint Nordic planning, resulting in lower regional investment, Mikael Odenberg, director general of Svenska Kraftnaet, said in a Dec. 12 interview in Stockholm.

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