The Norwegian Water resources and Energy Directorate (NVE)
The Norwegian Water resources and Energy Directorate (NVE) is a directorate under the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy and is the public administrative body responsible for the nation’s water and energy resources. One of the NVE’s main tasks is monitoring transmission tariffs. It has introduced an income ceiling scheme under which it annually issues efficiency demands for every distribution network company. The income ceiling scheme’s objective is to promote cheaper and more efficient transmission of electricity. NVE has also been given the responsibility for ensuring that the license terms and conditions relating to international trade are complied with by all parties. NVE is in charge of the control and surveillance of dams and other regulation plants, prepares regulations and technical guidelines and approves those who are to be responsible for the dam owner’s watercourse-related control. NVE also ensures that energy companies make improvements and have contingency plans for breakdowns that are due to natural disasters, crime or acts of war. NVE also considers applications for power development and applications for permits for various types of encroachment in watercourses, the erection and operation of power lines and other electric plants. NVE also deals with applications for licenses to build both wind power and gas power plants.
The Ministry of Petroleum and Energy
The Ministry issues licenses for power development and watercourse regulations. The purpose of the administration and the body of rules is to ensure that energy resources are exploited in the most efficient manner, while at the same time emphasizing that the impact on nature and the environment shall be kept to a minimum. Since 1993, the former Ministry of Trade and Energy (now the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy) has issued licenses for four long-term power exchanges. The agreements have been entered into between Norwegian power producers and Danish, Dutch and German energy companies. Pursuant to paragraph 4-2 of the Energy Act, power trading across Norway’s border calls for a license. The duty to obtain a license provides the authorities with an overview of international power trading and satisfies the needs relating to general resource management, environmental issues and secure electricity supplies.
Norwegian Competition Authorities
The Norwegian Competition Authorities have overall responsibility for monitoring that the Competition Act is complied with in all markets in Norway. The Norwegian Water Resources and Energy Directorate (NVE) is responsible for controlling the energy distribution monopoly and that the regulations relating to competition in the Energy Act are complied with. Among other things, the Competition Authorities are concerned about concentration. The Competition Authority is authorized to prohibit the acquisition of other companies pursuant to paragraph 3-11 of the Competition Act. Price and market co-operation is forbidden under the Competition Act.
Norway Statistics (SSB)
Norway Statistics prepares statistical material on power exchange as well as the consumption and production of electrical power. But for the industry and the power market the weekly publication showing water levels in the energy companies’ reservoirs is more important. Information of access to water by power producers is an important premise for the price formation of electric power.
SSB publishes Norwegian reservoir levels every Wednesday on this site: http://www.ssb.no/vannmag