Environmental issues in Europe's increasingly integrated electricity supply system were aired at the Environment Northern Seas conference in Stavanger, Norway yesterday. Sverre Aam of the Norwegian Electric Power Research Institute (EFI), reported research showing that planned cables linking Norway with the Dutch and German grids would probably lead to an increase in emissions of greenhouse and polluting gases. The cables, which should be operational soon after 2000, are intended to exchange power during times of peak demand. Norway is expected to export electricity during the day, when its hydro power plants can respond very rapidly to surges in demand. The country will import baseload electricity at night, mostly generated in coal-fired plants. If Norway built more hydro power and became a net exporter, then the overall impact on the environment would be beneficial, said Mr Aam. In practice, the "present Nordic free market setting...inherently implies" net imports, he continued, which would have an overall negative effect due to increased use of coal-fired plant.
Environment Northern Seas , tel: +47 51 87 00 50.
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