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Daily Archives: 20. December 2023 − News & Stories


Ener­gy pri­ces in Lon­gye­ar­by­en on the rise

Ener­gy pri­ces are a mat­ter of deba­te in many count­ries and places. Lon­gye­ar­by­en is no excep­ti­on.

A new ener­gy solu­ti­on to replace the old coal-fired power plant has been dis­cus­sed in Lon­gye­ar­by­en for many years. In Octo­ber, the coal plant was final­ly taken out of ser­vice and repla­ced with die­sel gene­ra­tors. The­se are, on the long term, to be repla­ced with more envi­ron­men­tal­ly fri­end­ly, rene­wa­ble ener­gy sources – that is, at least, the idea.

Longyearbyen, coal power plant

Longyearbyen’s old coal power plant was taken out of ser­vice in Octo­ber 2023.

That is an expen­si­ve pro­cess for a small town. Ener­gy has always been expen­si­ve in Lon­gye­ar­by­en, and a signi­fi­cant pri­ce rise is to come soon.

In order to save smal­ler cus­to­mers from incre­asing cos­ts, the com­mu­ni­ty coun­cil Lon­gye­ar­by­en Lokals­ty­re has deci­ded to pass the pri­ce rise on to the four lar­gest ener­gy buy­ers. The­se are Avi­nor (air­port), KSAT (satel­li­te anten­nas on Pla­tå­berg), Store Nor­ske Spits­ber­gen Kul­kom­pa­ni (mining, the housing sec­tion is not con­cer­ned) and Forskningsparken/UNIS (sci­ence). Next to size and high ener­gy con­sump­ti­on, the­se four have in com­mon that they are all sta­te-con­trol­led.

As could be expec­ted, the idea of being the only pay­ers for hig­her ener­gy pri­ces is not met with gre­at enthu­si­asm by the­se four. KSAT CEO Ole Kok­vik has said that KSAT may have to con­sider other loca­ti­ons in the future, a solu­ti­on that is unli­kely to work for the air­port. Store Nor­ske may recon­sider the ope­ra­ti­on of mine 7. Curr­ent­ly, it is plan­ned to remain in pro­duc­tion until the sum­mer of 2025.

The dis­cus­sion is cle­ar­ly not over yet.

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