High snow levels indicate very weak Nordic power prices this summer

Posted: June 9, 2020 by oldbrew in Energy, Temperature, weather

Was it like this?

This story may not make headline news, so let’s give it an airing here. Nordic countries are well used to winter snow, so when they talk of a ‘snow-rich’ winter they mean exactly that.
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Electricity prices in the Nordic countries are likely to be unusually low this summer amid high inflows to hydropower plants, caused by a combination of a very snow-rich winter and late snowmelt, says Phys.org.

Electricity prices in the Nordic countries are likely to be unusually low this summer amid high inflows to hydropower plants, caused by a combination of a very snow-rich winter and late snowmelt.

“May was cooler than normal in Scandinavia and June has also started on the cool side. This has led to snowpack melting a bit later than it usually does,” Nathalie Schaller, a senior researcher at CICERO Center for International Climate Research, said during a webinar organised on 8 June as part of the S2S4E project.

“There was a lot of snow this winter, and snow levels in many parts of Norway are set to remain above average over the next couple of months. This means that there is a strong signal in the forecasts for inflows to the country’s hydropower stations to be above normal this summer,” Schaller said.

“Weather-wise, however, the latest forecasts for June, July and August indicate that we may see a rather normal summer in Scandinavia,” she added.

“Reservoir levels to become extreme”

This view was shared by Gabriele Martinelli, who is lead quantitative analyst for the European power market at analysis firm Refinitiv, and who was also among the webinar speakers.

“The weather impact on the Nordic spot price is massive, and it is mainly hydro-driven. We now have a snow and soil surplus of 27 TWh, which means inflows will remain above normal the whole summer,” Martinelli said.

“Reservoir levels in the Nordics are expected to be very high this summer. The reservoirs are not full now because we are at the beginning of the melting season, but we expect them to reach extreme levels in mid-October,” he said.

“The last time reservoir levels were as high as those we expect in mid-October was in 2015, when filling levels reached around 90%. This year we are expecting them to become even higher,” Martinelli added.

In summer 2015, very wet and windy weather caused wholesale power prices in the Nordic region to plunge. After having fallen all summer, the Nordic system price hit a 17-year low in late July and remained weak all autumn.

Norway is Europe’s largest hydropower producer, and hydropower plants account for 96% of the country’s power generation capacity.

Full report here.

  1. ivan says:

    Oh dear, one would think all the very expensive climate models would have predicted this. Since they didn’t we can only conclude those models are useless and can’t predict anything about the climate.

    Any time reality arrives the models are found wanting just like the junk they are.

    There is one good thing to come out of this – Germany can relax because they will have the excess power from Norway to fall back on when the wind doesn’t blow for the next few months.

  2. PeterF says:

    The photo is fake. They have right hand traffic in Norway. This photo is about a decade old and from Japan.
    A site like tallbloke should not use any fake stuff.

  3. oldbrew says:

    PeterF – it was intended as a joke, see caption.

  4. Jamie Spry says:

    Reblogged this on Climatism and commented:
    CLIMATE models from the 1970’s have consistently predicted that theorised CO2-induced climate change should be causing a significant decline in total snow cover. However, Global snow cover has actually increased since at least the start of the record (Connolly et al, 2019), leading to some scepticism within the scientific community about the validity of the climate models.

    ANOTHER ‘snow rich’ Nordic winter isn’t helping the climate model cause, one bit …

  5. saighdear says:

    Meanwhile, BBC yaddling on about Coal: Germany, anyone? and Very Little wind production today here. Meanwhile Scotland ( ref. bbc scotland) has lost contracts and Jobs to foreign Construction companies for production of windmills etc … and so on it goes. did the BBC menion that along with their Puke?

  6. Philip Mulholland says:

    Always assuming that the snow melts this summer /sarc

  7. Philip Mulholland says:

    This photo however is not a fake.

  8. leon tesla says:

    Why are you using a photo from Japan? Are you not at all concerned about undermining your credibility?

    [reply] see answer above

  9. The last big glaciation of Eurasia during the last glacial maximum about 30,000 years ago was initiated by glacial spread from the Fennoscandian mountains. That means Scandinavia. So signs of snow increase and cooler summers in Scandinavia are worthy of attention.

  10. oldbrew says:

    Some people prefer to fixate on the photo and ignore the inconvenient story 🙄