Article | Last updated: 2016-07-27 | Ministry of Petroleum and Energy
The Ministry of Petroleum and Energy has the overall responsibility for managing the power supply in Norway.
The operative responsibility for the maintenance of the power supply is delegated to the Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE) in accordance with the Energy Act. The NVE chairs the Power Supply Preparedness Organisation (KBO), which comprises the NVE, major power producers, grid companies, and district heating companies.
Statnett is the transmission system operator in Norway, and is responsible for maintaining the balance between generation and consumption of electricity at all times. Statnett is responsible for continuously assessing and developing the necessary tools to maintain the instantaneous balance even when there is a severe energy or capacity shortage. These include energy options to reduce consumption and the use of reserve power plants. Statnett is subject to monopoly controls by the NVE.
The Ministry of Petroleum and Energy may decide to implement rationing during extraordinary situations where there is a shortage of electrical power and where rationing is required to ensure that energy is used most effectively. The NVE is the rationing authority in Norway and is tasked with planning and the administrative execution of rationing measures. Rationing may entail forced disconnection of consumption and requisitioning of production. In cases of rationing the available power is to be prioritised for public health concerns, vital public interests, and business and economic activities. Grid companies are required to have rationing plans in order to have an overview of which enterprises are to be prioritised.
The NVE has the operational responsibility for the prevention of damages as a consequence of fractures of dams and appurtenant structures. The NVE is tasked with supervising the dams, in order to verify that dam owners are taking the necessary steps to ensure that these structures are not posing a threat to life, property or the environment, and that contingency plans are in place to address unusual incidents.