London — Norwegian power consumption hit a fresh record last year as electricity continued to replace fossil fuels, provisional data from state energy directorate NVE showed.
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Norway consumed 135.4 TWh and produced 145.7 TWh of electricity in 2018, both up 2.5 TWh on 2017.
Net power exports of about 10 TWh were down from 15 TWh in 2017, reflecting a year of mounting hydro deficits from the summer drought onward.
Use of heating oil and paraffin is being phased out in Norwegian households and commercial buildings, substituted by electricity and heat pumps. The population is also growing, with new housing fitted with more efficient electric heating technologies.
Meanwhile transport is increasingly being electrified in Norway, with electric vehicles accounting for over 31% of new car sales last year.
Norway's gross electricity consumption is projected to increase from 130 TWh in 2012 to just over 143 TWh by 2030.
Power-hungry data centers and hydrogen production could push this higher, NVE said in long term projections issued October.
In the final week of the year, Norwegian hydro reservoir levels dropped 1.8 percentage points week on week to 63.9% full, NVE said.
Across the Nordics, reservoir levels are now at 60.9% full, or 74 TWh of a theoretical maximum of 121 TWh.
This is ten percentage points or 11.6 TWh lower year on year, and 8.6 percentage points down on the 1990-2012 median, Nord Pool data showed.
The most recent weather forecasts for the Nordic region show cooler, drier conditions for the second half of January, broker Energi Danmark said Friday, with both temperatures and precipitation set to drop below average from around the beginning of week three.
In recent production news, Vattenfall's 406.7 MW Horns Rev 3 offshore wind farm in Danish waters produced first power late December 23, 2018. The latest data show the wind farm is due to ramp up through the first quarter, before reaching full power April 7.
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