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From production to consumption
Statnett does not produce the electricity, but facilitates transport from producers to consumers. Electricity is generated the same instant it is consumed. This means that when we consume electricity, the same amount of electricity must be generated elsewhere.
Water is the main raw material of Norwegian hydropower generation. 97 percent of the electricity generated in Norway comes from hydropower. Norway has about 750 power stations and close to 300 companies producing, transporting and selling electricity. Rogaland County has the largest power production, closely followed by Hordaland and Sogn og Fjordane counties. The grid of the future will facilitate increased production of renewable energy, provided first and foremost by small-scale power, wind power and bioenergy. Norway and Sweden have a joint target of developing 26.4 TWh of renewable power in the next decade.
The main grid
Statnett is responsible for the main grid; the transmission grid which makes up the «highways» of Norwegian electricity supply. The main grid is made up of 10-11 000 kilometres of high-voltage power lines, interconnectors and 140 sub stations throughout the country. The operations are monitored by one national and three regional dispatch centres. In the period leading up to 2021, Statnett’s development and remodelling plans cover 60 stations, 3–4 000 kilometres of domestic power lines and four new international interconnectors; to Denmark, Sweden, Germany and the UK. Total investment is estimated at between NOK 40 and 50 billion.
Regional and distibution grids
The regional and distribution grid comprises 310 000 kilometres of power lines which extend throughout the country to the most remote villages in Norway. Before electricity is transported onwards from the main grid to the regional grids, the voltage must be reduced. This takes place in one of Statnett’s step-down transformer facilities. Regional grids are owned by the regional grid companies. Local grids then transport it to the various local consumers. Before bringing the electricity to the final stage on its way to homes, companies, public buildings and facilities, the voltage must be reduced to 230 volts. Investment in regional and local grids is estimated at NOK 70 billion in the next decade.
Electricity is the most important source of both heating and lighting in Norway. The largest customer groups are households, buildings and industry. In the future, an increasing proportion of our energy consumption is expected to come from electricity. This applies to households, business and industry, as well as to the transport sector. One future scenario shows that there may be 750 000 electric cars in the Oslo area by 2050.