Expert: Electricity prices will remain high for some time

Electricity pylon.
Electricity pylon. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

Eesti Energia board member Einar Kisel said there are no expectations for electricity prices to fall anytime soon. While the high electricity prices currently mostly stem from Nordic hydro plants, connections with Belarus and between Norway and Great Britain will begin affecting prices soon, Kisel told ETV's morning show "Terevisioon" on Wednesday.

Kisel said analysts have issued warnings about what is happening now for years. "While we have had carbon-free electricity generation capacity in the region until now - mainly from Norwegian hydro power plants, wind turbines, solar panels and nuclear plants - we are now in a situation where there is no water in Norwegian plants, the levels are significantly lower than usual, there is not much wind and Nordic nuclear plants are in maintenance," the Eesti Energia board member said.

He added that electricity must now be generated from plants that handle materials that emit carbon, such as gas, coal and oil shale in Estonia. "You have to add to that the mark-up on CO2 emissions," Kisel said.

"Since the EU has established that al states can emit carbon in some capacity and the price of this quota will depend on how much is produced. The more is produced, the higher the price," Kisel said.

Prices for electricity in FInland are currently lower than in the Baltics. "There are nuclear plants in Finland, some more wind, as well. They can lower their prices thanks to that. Since there is about 1,000 MW of connections between us, that has all been filled up, meaning we are bringing as much as we can from Finland," the expert said.

"The part we are missing is being produced in the Baltics and it is what constitutes the higher price," Kisel said.

The lack of water in Norwegian hydro power plants and fewer connections are making prices go up. Kisel noted that it is currently hard to predict when prices will go down again. "There are not too many encouraging factors here. Filling water reservoirs will take some time. There would have to be a lot more rain in Finland and Norway, a lot more wind," the Eesti Energia board member said.

"The risk of prices going up even more is pretty high. One thing, which will begin affecting prices in the coming months is that there will be an electricity connection developed between Norway and Great Britain, which means even more cheap electricity will be taken out of Norway and competition for cheap electricity will increase even more," Kisel said.

He noted that there are not as many producers in the Nordics and the Baltics any more. "We have oil shale factories, some of which are closed. Latvia and Lithuania are in a deficit anyway and import their electricity from Sweden and Poland, even Russia. We do not have many choices," Kisel said.

Einari Kisel. Autor/allikas: ERR


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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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