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Impacts of the North Atlantic Oscillation on Scandinavian Hydropower Production and Energy Markets

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Abstract

Dramatic swings in the North Atlantic oscillation (NAO) during the 1990s motivated the authors to build a statistical model of NAO impacts on hydropower production and energy markets in Scandinavia. Variation in the NAO index is shown to explain 55% of the variance of streamflow in Norway and up to 30% of the variance in Norway's hydropower output. It is also possible to identify the influence of NAO anomalies on electricity consumption and prices. Government liberalization allowed a financial market to grow around the international trading of electricity, which in Norway is produced almost entirely from hydropower. The model offers a possible tool for predicting the effects of future NAO movements on hydropower production and energy prices in Scandinavia. The potential influence of skillful climate prediction is discussed.

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Correspondence to Jessie Cherry.

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Cherry, J., Cullen, H., Visbeck, M. et al. Impacts of the North Atlantic Oscillation on Scandinavian Hydropower Production and Energy Markets. Water Resour Manage 19, 673–691 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11269-005-3279-z

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Keywords

  • North Atlantic oscillation
  • social impacts
  • energy
  • hydropower
  • climate impacts