STOCKHOLM, Dec. 9 (Xinhua) -- Swedish households may occasionally have to go without electricity, the government said on Friday, urging the general public to use electricity sparingly.
"Many Swedes have saved electricity due to the cost and now we want to ask them to save electricity to minimize the risk of outages," Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson said at a press conference on Friday.
Should outages occur, this would be a first for Sweden, a country which in 2021 was a net exporter of 25.6 terawatt-hours of electricity, according to the Swedish Energy Agency.
"We do not want to cause panic, but we do want to say it is a big problem and that there are considerable risks," Kristersson said.
According to the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority, around 30 percent of the country's electricity comes from nuclear power plants. However, three of Sweden's six nuclear reactors will be either shut for maintenance or run at half capacity over the weekend.
To decrease the risk of outages, fossil fuel-fired power plants have been ordered to remain on standby until mid-March, a spokesperson for national electricity grid operator Svenska Kraftnat said at the press conference.
Since Europe was plunged into an energy crisis by the impact of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, people in Sweden have also faced record high energy prices in recent months, with peaks of close to eight Swedish kronor (78 U.S. cents) per kilowatt hour (kWh).