Russian WinterThe cold winter more than doubled the price of electricity in Sweden - new supporters for nuclear power (vertaling van Zweedse bijdrage). Belgische regering rekent op import van energie om de koude dagen door te komen: duur en blind vliegen!

Wednesday 17.02.2021 at 7:22

Even the Prime Minister's Party against nuclear power is now making statements in favour of additional nuclear reactors.

Electricity consumption and prices have risen sharply in Sweden as a result of severe frosts.

Citizens have also been urged to curb their electricity consumption, but the state-owned company denies the actual electricity shortage.

Nuclear power has become a politically hot potato, as Swedish nuclear reactors have been shut down in recent years.

The availability of electricity has deteriorated and the price has risen during the winter frosts in Sweden. The availability of electricity has deteriorated and the price has risen during the winter frosts in Sweden.

The cold winter weather has sparked a hot debate in Sweden about electricity generation.

Like Finland, Sweden has been frozen in recent winter in severe winter frosts. Electricity consumption has risen sharply, and at the beginning of the month Sweden had the highest electricity consumption since 2016.

At the same time, the price of electricity has also bounced. On the second Friday, a megawatt-hour of electricity in Sweden cost 200 euros, while normally the price is about 30 euros. Among other things, forest giant Holmen had to shut down several of his paper machines after they became unprofitable.

A small uproar arose when Pontus de Maré, director of the grid company Svenska Kraftnät, urged citizens to avoid, for example, vacuuming and using a dishwasher on the coldest days to save electricity.

Electricity has had to be imported to Sweden in recent weeks from Germany, Poland and Denmark, among others. An oil-fired backup power plant in Karlshamn has also had to be started up.

Torbjön Wahlborg, Production Director of the state-owned company Vattenfall, awarded SVT an interview with last week, that there would also have been a need for additional nuclear power in response to increased demand. According to him, however, in the long run it is not a matter of actual electricity shortages, but the awkward situation is concentrated in the cold months or weeks.

However, nuclear power now seems to have become a hot potato in Swedish politics.

Nuclear power driven down

Sweden has six nuclear reactors in operation at three different plants. The two reactors at the Ringhals nuclear power plant in southern Sweden were shut down at the turn of the year and just over a year ago. Downsized electricity generation has been replaced by investments in renewable energy, mainly wind power.

However, the problem has been that the majority of wind power is generated in northern Sweden, and the electricity transmission network is currently insufficient to cover the needs of southern Sweden. Already last year, 5.3 electricity equivalent to the production of a nuclear reactor was transferred from Sweden's two northernmost power generation areas to the two southernmost, says Aftonbladet .

In addition, wind power capacity has been put to the test on windless frosty days. The price of electricity has also fluctuated more sharply than before.

Electricity and nuclear power now also speak in politics. The Swedish Christian Democrats opened the game last week by announcing their support for the construction of two new nuclear reactors in Ringhals. Ebba Buschin, chairman , it is not just a question of growing electricity demand, but also of jobs and the climate.

Environment Minister Deputy Prime Minister Per Bolund and opposition party moderate coalition chairman Ulf Kristersson, for their part, debated the issue on Sunday in SVT's Agenda program . Kristersson hoped for investments in smaller, “new age” nuclear reactors. According to Bolund, the goal is wishful thinking and nuclear power is too expensive.

The Prime Minister opposes

Of the Swedish parliament parties, the moderate coalition, the Swedish Democrats, the Christian Democrats and the Liberals are in favour of increasing nuclear power. The Social Democrats, the Environment Party, the center and the left, for their part, are against nuclear power. At present, the camps are practically equally strong in the Swedish Parliament.

Hans Hoff and two other Social Democrats are calling for quick decisions on additional nuclear power. Hans Hoff and two other Social Democrats are calling for quick decisions on additional nuclear power.

Hans Hoff and two other Social Democrats are calling for quick decisions on additional nuclear power. SWEDISH STATES

However, there is some dispersion within the camps. For example, in a joint motion released on Monday, three Social Democrat MPs are calling for additional nuclear power to be built without delay. According to them, there is no long-term confidence in hydropower and solar energy, and the purchase of imported electricity often favors foreign fossil energy production.

"The decision must be made today, because it will take time to build a nuclear power plant, " says Hans Hoff , a member of parliament, in an interview with Aftonbladet.

Social Democratic Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has also turned his sleigh on the issue, but in a different direction. Until ten years ago, he called for the construction of new nuclear power plants in Sweden, but today he opposes the idea.

A consultative referendum on nuclear power was held in Sweden in 1980. At that time, a majority of the people supported the abandonment of nuclear power by 2010, but production has continued under various political agreements. On the other hand, the referendum questioning has since been criticized as confusing.

In opinion polls, Swedish public opinion has turned against nuclear power since the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan.