Sweden’s non-nuclear winter

Reuters reports: Quote.

Sweden will have to import more electricity during winter as the country, a net power exporter to the rest of Europe, shifts from nuclear to wind, its grid operator said.

Last winter, the first since the closure of its Oskarshamn 1 reactor, stretched Sweden?s resources as peak consumption rose by 800 megawatt (MW), triggering start-up procedures in its reserve energy plants.

Sweden?s power balance will deteriorate further from next winter, the country will need imports and the situation will become worse with two more of its reactors closing by 2020, state-grid Svenska Kraftnat (SVK) said in a report on Monday.

?For next winter (if it?s a normal winter) we expect Sweden to (need to) import 400 MW more than it exports during the hour with the highest consumption,? SVK?s electricity system analyst Erik Hellstrom, and the author of the report, told Reuters.

Hellstrom said that if the coming winter is a ?10-year winter? (colder than a normal winter), Sweden?s imports will rise by as much as 1,500 MW more than it exports in the hour with the highest consumption.

Of Sweden?s eight remaining nuclear reactors, two will close soon, Ringhals 2 in 2019 and Ringhals 1 the year after, cutting a combined production of 1,700 MW from its power system, 40 percent of which is nuclear output-dependent.

?Wind power cannot contribute to the power balance during winter peak hours with the same availability as the nuclear power it replaces,? SVK said.

The expansion of Sweden?s wind power capacity, with new farms coming into the system, may also be insufficient to cover the deficit the lost nuclear reactors leaves, said SVK, warning low profitability may even prohibit planned power projects.

?The margins for the Swedish power balance and the ability to be self-sufficient with enough electricity under high-load situations are shrinking,? said the report. […] End of quote.

“The ability to be self-sufficient with enough electricity under high-load situations is shrinking” could just as easily be said about New Zealand following Jacinda’s vainglorious announcement just before she “fossil” fuelled herself off to Europe to prove she was a big fish in a small pond and as powerful a mover and shaker as the rest of them.

The huge advantage Sweden has is that they can run an “extension cord” over the border and buy electricity from the neighbours; provided they have some to spare.

In spite of some idiot suggesting a trans-Tasman power connection, that is simply never going to happen. Currently, the longest underwater power link is 560km carrying 700MW between Norway and the Netherlands.

The longest proposed undersea electricity link is 890 km as part of the Euro-Africa grid at depths of up to 3000m.? The Tasman is 2,200 km across and 5,500m deep – that’s a whole different ball game!

With Jacinda screwing our energy security and independence we could be looking at cold times ahead.