Global warming is likely to bring more rain to hydro-dependent Norway, giving a further boost to power production that reached a record high last year due to ample rainfall, the government said in a report on Friday (Feb 8).
generation reached 146 terawatt-hours (TWh) in 2012, as hydro inflows from rain
and snow melt were 5 TWh above normal, Norway's Water Resources and Energy
Directorate (NVE) said. Hydro power accounted for 97 percent of
During the past century, precipitation in Norway has risen by
about 20 percent, and that trend is expected to continue.
"The extent of
the flooding and landslides in Norway is expected to increase as a result of
more precipitation and more intense rainfall," the government said in the report
on long-term challenges.
"Meanwhile, more precipitation can result in
higher production of hydroelectric power, and milder winters will lead to lower
fuel costs," it added.
"Most studies show that climate change will lead
to an increase in the average annual inflow to power plants in Norway, and
thereby increase the production potential for hydropower," said Hege Hisdal,
head of hydrologic modeling at NVE.
Weekly precipitation levels, measured
in terms of hydro energy available for power production, rose by about 13
percent from 1995 to 2013 in Norway, data from Point Carbon, a Thomson Reuters
"So there is a clear increasing trend," said Bjorn
Sonju-Moltzau, a hydrologist at Point Carbon. "We expect precipitation levels
that can be used for power generation to increase by 10-15 percent during the
next 10-20 years."
About half of all electricity production in the Nordic
power market comes from hydro power.
Hydro production in the region could
increase by about 10 percent during the period 2021-2050 from 1961-1990, a
reference period to measure climate change, a study commissioned by the Nordic
Council of Ministers, showed last year.