Energy crisis plan fails to gain support in Norway
Government presents short-term energy relief to ease shock of high electricity rates for businesses, households
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The Norwegian government’s plan to fight the energy crisis in the country failed to gain support after an emergency parliamentary meeting on Monday.
Ninety-two relief proposals were put forward by the government to ease high electricity costs for businesses and households.
Oil and Energy Minister Terje Aasland told the parliament that the meeting’s aim was to, at the very least, offer “a short-term relief for businesses” and to help households with bills that have quadrupled in the last few months.
“It is crucial that pure power will continue to be a competitive advantage for Norway,” he said, adding that it should have been done “many years ago.”
He blamed the energy crisis on Russia’s war on Ukraine.
“Russia’s war has at least two dimensions,” he said, it is “a brutal attack on the Ukrainian people and an attack on Europe, where gas is used as a weapon.”
The Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise (NHO), Norway’s largest employers’ association, businesses leaders and workers were not happy with the proposals although Trade Minister Jan Christian Vestre announced a 3 billion Norwegian kroner ($293, 000) promised relief on Friday.
NHO leader Ole Erik Almlid told local daily Dagsavisen: “There’s no reason to stand here and smile.
“The situation is very, very serious for very many companies.”
Several small business owners gathered outside the parliament to demonstrate against rising electricity bills and warned that they might have to close down their businesses if no appropriate solution was found.
The government officials will be meeting again to discuss the energy crisis on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, with the date yet to be finalized.
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