The Slovenia Times

High energy prices a challenge for Nordic worlds in Planica


The rising costs of energy are becoming a significant concern for the organisers of the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Planica this winter. While the estimated cost of the event has already increased by 14% due to inflation, the cost of electricity has increased seven-fold.

The International Skiing Association (FIS) has recently called on event organisers to avoid using floodlights as much as possible, but the lights are a small problem for Planica compared to snow guns.

Most of the competitions, running between 21 February and 5 March 2023, will be staged in the afternoon, which means that light will have to be used.

"Cross-country skiing races and cross-country skiing portions of the combination competitions will be taking place during the day. However, there will be no avoiding lights for the jumping competitions," Tomaž Šušteršič, the chair of the organising committee, told the STA.

But lights are the least of the organisers' problems, with snow guns posing the biggest challenge. Not only can they not rely on natural snow, artificial snow is necessary for the preparation of cross-country skiing trails and ski jumping hills.

The snow depot in Planica currently contains 10,000 cubic metres of snow, but this will not suffice. In addition to tens of kilometres of trails, three ski jumping hills will have to be prepared for the championships.

The high prices were also a part of the reason why an idea to stage a cross-border race between Planica and the nearby Italian town of Tarvisio was abandoned. "We are dedicated to sustainability and those 12 kilometres of track in Italy would bring enormous use of energy and transport."

The initial budget left some room for possible price hikes, but "we could not have foreseen the hikes we have been seeing in the past six months. We've been cutting expenses left and right, but we're still not on the safe side," said Šušteršič.

The organisers have been talking to the government to secure additional funds, said Šušteršič, adding however, that neither the state nor FIS have provide any money so far.


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