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The energy price expert

Quoted more than 1,000 times last year, Volue’s Head of Analysis Tor Reier Lilleholt is undoubtably the Norwegian expert on energy prices.

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A split-screen image from an NRK TV broadcast. On the left, the interviewer. On the right, Volue’s Head of Analysis Tor Reier Lilleholt. The text at the bottom reads, "Why the electricity is so expensive."

In a country with abundancy of renewable energy (99 per cent of Norwegian power production is hydro power), electricity prices have traditionally been so low that many Norwegians frequently neglect to turn the lights off before leaving their home. This, however, changed fundamentally in 2022, spurred by the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the following constraints and embargo on Russian gas to Europe. Power prices skyrocketed in Central Europe and the effects spread via interconnectors all the way to Norway.

“The average person has never really cared about the price of electricity, whereas professionals always have. Suddenly everybody was interested, or rather outraged by what happened. Explanations and measures to dampen the effect on households were demanded,” says Lilleholt.

As a result, news outlets started calling Lilleholt for an independent expert opinion and market outlook. Why is energy so expensive, and will the prices soon come down? Lilleholt was happy to answer and able to explain complicated matters in layman’s terms. That made him quite the media darling.

“Being an independent market analyst enable us to take a firmer position and to have a stronger opinion than many other in-house analysts. We have a great track-record, and we are willing to stick our neck out and take a stand,” says Lilleholt.

With decades of experience, continuous flows of data, and proven data models, Volue is well positioned to have opinions on the development of energy prices in Europe.

We have data going back to 1950, and we provide market analysis for the next 30 years. So, we have a 100-years perspective. Our future price estimates are given with an hourly granularity for most European countries

Tor Reier Lilleholt, Head of Analysis Volue

Are you saying that you can predict the price of energy hour-by-hour for the next 30 years in most European countries?

“Yes, that is how complex our models and our understanding of the markets are. We will of course not be able to anticipate major event, for instance the outbreak of a war in Europe, and we will not always hit the mark, but our models have proven to be quite accurate over time,” says Lilleholt.

Which is why Volue is a premium supplier of energy data and market analysis to eight of the top-10 European utilities, to a majority of Scandinavian utilities, and to traders, investment bankers, and lawyers throughout Europe.

“Given the profound changes in the energy market, such as the introduction of data centers, batteries, electrification of heavy transport, production of hydrogen, we will be wrong about something in the future. But our daily updated hour-by-hour models can pick up changes very quickly and adjust our market outlook in a manner that makes sense and creates value for those who have access to them,” says Lilleholt.

When asked how the price of energy will move in years to come, Lilleholt answers:

“Prices used to be NOK 0.2-0.3 per kilowatt hour. Driven by the European Union’s climate ambitions, the new normal will be NOK 0.5-0.6. Europe is way behind its target of 55 per cent emissions reduction by 2030 and will have to act. If the price of energy is high enough, consumption will go down,” says Lilleholt.

Volue is a portfolio company of Arendals Fossekompani, established in March 2020 through a merger of four of Arendals Fossekompani’s former portfolio companies; Powel, Markedskraft, Wattsight and Scanmatic. Volue was listed on Euronext Growth in 2020 and transferred to Oslo Børs in 2021.

Over the last three years, Volue has grown its quarterly revenue from NOK 227 million in the first quarter of 2020, to NOK 339 million in the first quarter of 2023.