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TODAY IN NORWAY

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

Estimates on how high energy prices in Norway could rise and the government to slash the use of oil money are among the headlines from Norway on Wednesday.

Pictured is a train passing over a viaduct in Norway.
Find out what's going on in Norway on Wednesday with The Local's roundup of important news. Pictured is a train passing over a viaduct in Norway. Photo by Karl Paul Baldacchino on Unsplash

Energy prices could double during the winter

The price record of 10 kroner per kWh could be surpassed, and prices of 20 kroner per kWh for energy aren’t out of the question this winter, public broadcaster NRK reports. 

“Yes, but this is a rather extreme scenario. But I have stopped believing there is a ceiling on the electricity price. A month ago, 5-6 kroner were quite hefty prices, and ten kroner was somehow unthinkable. But now this ceiling has been moved quite high,” Tor Reier Lilleholt, an analyst with Volue Insight, said when asked about the possibility of prices reaching 20 kroner this winter.

Norway is connected to the European market via energy transfer cables. Without these, energy prices would be around 25 percent lower, Lilleholt said. 

READ MORE: How much do foreign power export cables affect energy prices in Norway? 

Norway to slash the use of oil money

In order to combat inflation, the government will cut back on oil money in next year’s budget, Finance Minister Trygve Slgasvold Vedum has said. 

“The crises my generation has been through have had one answer each time: Increased use of oil money. But now it’s different. Now the use of oil money must be reduced,” Vedum said. 

Vedum said that spending less oil money was a way of preventing the economy from overheating to prevent those on low and middle incomes from feeling the squeeze. 

In addition, he said that the government was fearful of a spike in unemployment. 

“History shows that after a period of high price growth comes a period of high unemployment. This government will avoid that at all costs,” he said. 

Revenues generated by the oil industry are partly used to fund government spending in Norway. 

READ ALSO: What does Norway do with its oil money?

August breaks monthly energy price record

August 2022 has surpassed all previously monthly price records for electricity in Norway, according to energy news outlet Europower.

Southern Norway got an average monthly price of 434 øre per kWh throughout the month, while eastern Norway saw an average of 344 øre per kWh. 

Europower reports that while higher individual, peak and daily prices have been reported, the continued high prices were unprecedented and shattered all previous monthly records. 

PM pays tribute to Gorbachev

Norway’s Prime Minister, Jonas Gahr Støre, has paid tribute to Mikhail Gorbachev, who passed away on Tuesday night, on Twitter. 

“In connection with Mikhail Gorbachev’s passing we remember a courageous leader who left his distinct mark on history by choosing reforms over repression and by making an important contribution to a peaceful end to the Cold War,” the PM tweeted

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TODAY IN NORWAY

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

Norwegians choosing between food or heating and security at energy installations is being beefed up, plus other news from Norway on Thursday.

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

Norway ups gas pipeline security

Europe’s biggest gas supplier, Norway, is upping security at its energy installations as experts have picked them out as a vulnerable target. 

Beefing up of security comes after unexplained leaks on the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines off a Danish island. 

European leaders have said they believe the leaks were a deliberate act. 

 “The situation is being taken very seriously, and several measures have already been put in place to guarantee the best security possible”, police official Tone Vangen said in a statement.

Energy firms have also said they would be upping security at the installation. 

READ MORE: Could Norway’s gas supplies become a target for saboteurs?

A growing number of Norwegians choosing between food and energy

More than 400,000 households in Norway are facing severe financial problems or are struggling financially, a new report has shown. 

According to a report by the Consumer Research Institute (SIFO), just over a third of households are in a vulnerable financial position, while 49 percent are safe. 

Public broadcaster NRK reports that SIFO has identified a trend of more people choosing between food and heating. Around one in six households has saved on food to free up money for energy bills. 

“This is not sustainable long-term,” Christian Poppe from SIFO told NRK

New tax on fish farms and hydroelectric power

The Norwegian government have brought in a new tax package on hydropower and salmon. 

“The community needs greater income in the coming years so that we can together protect good welfare for all. After many years of increased inequality, it is absolutely necessary that those who have the most, and in many cases have received significantly more in recent years, contribute more,” Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre said at a press conference. 

“An important part of this will be to ensure that the values ​​that come from our natural resources must be distributed more fairly than today,” he added. 

The government has proposed an effective rate of 40 per cent ground rent tax when it comes to the production of salmon, trout and rainbow trout. These tax revenues are estimated at up to NOK 4 billion annually. In addition, the basic interest tax on hydropower is increased from 37 to 45 per cent.

Footfall at Norway’s border with Russia drops

Border traffic at the Storskog crossing has stopped after a sharp increase in footfall, Finnmark police district has said. 

Russian citizens have been fleeing the country since a new mobilisation was announced, which meant more conscripts would be drafted. 

READ MORE: Could Norway see an influx of Russians at its shared border?

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