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ENERGY

Electricity prices in Sweden expected to double this winter

A rise in electricity prices is expected to hit the southern parts of Sweden particularly hard this winter. Experts say that prices could be twice as high as last year in some areas, but the situation is expected to be considerably better further north.

Electricity prices in Sweden expected to double this winter
Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT

Do not expect to see a drop in electricity prices this winter – rather the opposite. Over autumn and winter, electricity prices in southern Sweden could be almost twice as high as they were last year.

“There’s a high chance of higher prices than last winter, and they were exceptionally high then from a historic perspective,” Christian Holtz, electricity market analyst at energy consultancy company Merlin & Metis, told TT newswire.

Many have noticed their electricity bill taking up a larger proportion of their household budget in recent months, and that will continue to be the case. The forward price or terminpris, i.e. the market’s assessment of the expected future electricity price, is currently pointing to an expensive winter, particularly for those in southern Sweden.

“During the coming winter, prices will be very high across Europe, and that will spill over into the Nordic energy market,” John Sigvardsson, analyst at energy trading company Bixia, told TT.

In south Götaland, electricity will cost 3:50 kronor per kilowatt hour during the autumn and winter, according to Sigvardssons prognosis.

“From December to March this year, the average price per kilowatt hour was 1:40 kronor, so that’s doubled, more or less.” Sigvardsson said.

North-South divide

Whilst electricity prices are going up in the south of the country, prices are expected to be lower further north. In power zone 3, which encompasses northern Götaland and the whole of Svealand, prices are expected to be between 2:30 and 2:50 kronor/kWh during autumn and winter. Differences are greater in the countryside. In power zone 1 and 2, the power zones for Norrland, prices are expected to be considerably lower, around 0.8 kronor/kWh.

“Northern Sweden always has an surplus of production compared to their consumption, they have a very low consumption. At the moment, water reservoirs are even slightly fuller than normal, which provides security,” said Sigvardsson.

Holtz also sees a risk for high prices in southern Sweden this winter. The reason behind this is the high coal and gas prices putting up prices in Europe, affecting southern Sweden.

Uncertainty over Nordstream gas

In addition, there is still great uncertainty surrounding the supply of Russian gas to Europe in the Nordstream 1 pipeline. On Thursday, the gas flow resumed after a ten-day break, but only at 40 percent of normal levels.

“If Putin chooses to reduce gas levels even further or close them off altogether, the prices would skyrocket even more,” Holtz said.

A lot can affect the price, according to the two analysts. Not least the weather and how windy it is in parts of the country with wind farms.

“The prices we see now for the future market can go up by another 50 or 100 percent, or go down by half. There’s a lot of room for variation there,” Sigvardsson said.

However, under the current situation, it seems like higher electricity prices come autumn are unavoidable.

“No matter how you look at the figures, there’s not a lot to indicate anything other than exceptionally high prices,” Holtz said.

“The question is: how high will they be?”

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ENERGY

Swedish institute says underwater ‘blasts’ recorded prior to Nord Stream leaks

Two underwater blasts were recorded prior to the discovery of three leaks on the Nord Stream pipelines linking Russia and Europe, a Swedish seismological institute said Tuesday as the unexplained leaks raised suspicions of sabotage.

Swedish institute says underwater 'blasts' recorded prior to Nord Stream leaks

The Swedish National Seismic Network recorded two “massive releases of energy” shortly prior to, and near the location of, the gas leaks off the coast of the Danish island of Bornholm, Peter Schmidt, an Uppsala University seismologist, told news wire AFP.

“The first happened at 2:03am just southeast of Bornholm with a magnitude of 1.9. Then we also saw one at 7:04pm on Monday night, another event a little further north and that seems to have been a bit bigger. Our calculations show a magnitude of 2.3,” Schmidt said.

“With energy releases this big there isn’t much else than a blast that could cause it,” he added.

WATCH: Baltic Sea foams with gas from broken Nord Stream pipeline

Schmidt explained that since the releases were “very sudden” and not a “slow collapse”, the events were “in all likelihood some type of blasts.”

The Norwegian Seismic Array (NORSAR) also confirmed it had registered “a smaller explosion” in the early hours of Monday, “followed by a more powerful on Monday evening.”

The Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines have been at the centre of geopolitical tensions in recent months as Russia cut gas supplies to Europe in suspected retaliation against Western sanctions following its invasion of Ukraine.

While the pipelines, which are operated by a consortium majority-owned by Russian gas giant Gazprom, are not currently in operation, they both still contain gas which has been leaking out since Monday.

Photos taken by the Danish military on Tuesday showed large masses of bubbles on the surface of the water emanating from the three leaks located in Sweden’s and Denmark’s economic zones, spreading from 200 to 1,000 metres in diameter.

Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said Copenhagen was not ruling out sabotage of the gas pipelines between Russia and Europe.

READ ALSO: Gas leaks cause bubbling up in Baltic Sea as Danish PM says ‘unlikely due to chance’

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