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TODAY IN NORWAY

Today in Norway: A roundup of the latest news on Thursday 

Expert cautions against electricity support for businesses, Sweden profiting from affordable energy in north Norway, a surprising item commonly dumped in the Oslofjord, plus other news from Norway on Thursday. 

Pictured is the Oslofjord
Find out what's going on in Norway on Thursday with The Local's short roundup of important news. Pictured is the Oslofjord. Photo by Franz Wender on Unsplash

Sweden profiting from cheap Norwegian energy

Sweden is profiting from a large disparity in energy prices in Norway by buying electricity from northern regions and then exporting it back to southern Norway, where prices have hit record levels this summer, public broadcaster NRK reports. 

“People scream about exports from the south, but it is actually the northern Norwegian power that has been exported,” Tor Reier Lilleholt, energy analysis manager at Volue Insight, told NRK. 

“It is often the case that power is exported from northern Norway to northern Sweden and imported from southern Sweden to southern Norway, and lately, it has at least been like that,” Ann Myhrer Østenby from the Norwegian Directorate of Water Resources and Energy told NRK. 

From January to July, 4.51 Terawatt-hours (TWh), or 4.5 trillion watts, were sent from Norway to Sweden, while Sweden exported 3.67 TWh to Norway. 

Norway cannot send electricity, which is much cheaper in the north, to the south because the country lacks the capacity and infrastructure to send large amounts to where the prices are typically higher.

More than 100 electric scooters dumped in the Oslofjord

Fjord Cleanup, which aims to limit pollution and littering in the Oslofjord, has said that they have already recovered ten tonnes of rubbish this year, local paper Avisa Oslo writes. 

Among the waste, they have recovered 108 electric scooters dumped in the fjord. 

Fjord Cleanup is a volunteer group that gathers once a week to dive for rubbish in the Oslo Fjord, something they have been doing for six years. 

Expert warns against electricity measures for businesses

Small and medium-sized businesses may soon be able to claim support to help cope with high electricity prices, but one expert has warned that this can have an adverse effect, NRK reports.

“The only way to get through this is to reduce consumption among businesses and consumers. Then the prices have to go up,” Niels-Henrik von der Fehr, an economics professor at the University of Oslo, told NRK. 

The professor explained that more economic support to deal with rising bills could lead to electricity rationing this winter. 

“This means that electricity consumption will be greater than it would otherwise be if you had to pay the full price. In the worst case, it could mean that there will be rationing for the winter because we don’t save as much as we should when there is a shortage of electricity,” he said. 

Oslo ranked bottom for public toilets

Oslo has finished bottom in a survey carried out by the newspaper Aftenposten which ranked the availability of public toilets in north European capitals. 

Measured per square kilometre, Oslo has a coverage of 0.17 toilets. The figure for Copenhagen is 1.7. Helsinki, Stockholm and Berlin also come out better than Oslo

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TODAY IN NORWAY

Today in Norway: A roundup of the news on Monday

Additional crossings at the Russian border, municipalities encouraged to build wind turbines and other news in Norway on Monday.

Today in Norway: A roundup of the news on Monday

Two-hour queue at Norwegian border 

The queue of cars waiting to enter Norway at its northern border with Russia grew significantly on Sunday, news wire NTB reports.

While there are no signs that Russia has restricted its citizens from leaving for Norway, Finland closed its border to tourists with Russian visas on Friday.

A total number of 295 people entered Norway from Russia at the Storskog border crossing in northern county Finnmark, according to police figures reported by NTB. 174 crossed in the opposite direction.

Norway said on Friday it was considering closing its border to Russians with Schengen visas.

“We will close the border quickly if necessary, and changes can come at short notice,” Justice Minister Emilie Enger Mehl said.

READ ALSO: Norway to boost security along border with Russia

Municipalities could reconsider wind turbine plans

Municipalities that have previously decided against installing wind turbines could reverse their stance if a government proposal to incentivise the turbines is adopted, NTB writes.

The government wants to reward municipalities for on-land wind turbines more than is currently the case.

“Norway will need more energy in the coming years. That must come from hydropower in the short term and wind on land. If municipalities are be given more in return for allowing wind power plants, this will be a completely different discussion than we have had up to now,” the elected spokesperson for the Lindesnes municipality, Even Tronstad Sagebakken, told newspaper Fædrelandsvennen.

Nature organisation wants ban on rubber underlay at playgrounds

Nature advocacy group Friends of the Earth Norway (Naturvernforbundet) says playgrounds should be built without the soft rubber underlays and other plastic elements because of the amount of small plastic pieces that escape from them into the environment.

“A good number of plastic playgrounds are based on reprocessed car tyres which contain harmful substances for the environment. Others aren’t made from tyres but still contain plastic substances and completely unneccessarry amounts of plastic that can spread in nature,” the organisation’s leader Truls Gulowsen told broadcaster NRK.

Norway to send howitzers to Ukraine

Norway, along with Germany and Denmark, will supply Ukraine with 16 armoured howitzer artillery systems from next year, Berlin said yesterday. Kyiv has sought heavier weapons to boost its fightback against Russia.

The weapons will be produced in Slovakia, with delivery to Ukraine to begin in 2023.

The three countries agreed to jointly finance the procurement of the Slovakian Zuzana-2 guns at a cost of 92 million euros, the defence ministry in Berlin said.

You can read more on this story here.

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