Eesti Energia board chair: Volatile electricity prices the new norm

Hando Sutter on Tuesday's 'Esimene stuudio'.
Hando Sutter on Tuesday's 'Esimene stuudio'. Source: ERR

Volatile electricity prices are a new norm, meaning the current, unprecedentedly high prices in Estonia will be contrasted by very low prices at some point in the future, Hando Sutter, Eesti Energia board chair, told ETV politics talk show 'Esimene stuudio' Tuesday night.

Sutter said that: "The new reality is that the price of electricity will be very volatile. Today we can see that it is very high. But most likely, at some point we will also see very low prices. When exactly that moment will come, I certainly cannot say but I believe that next year we will see some hours or days again when the price of electricity can actually go negative."

The price of electricity might even be exceeded by a rise in the price of natural gas, which may come to twice the increase, he added.

At the same time, Eesti Energia is making far less use of oil shale for generating electricity – once the staple of Estonia's electricity generation.

In the past year, oil shale, mined in Ida-Viru County and then either burned in power stations or refined into an oil which has various practical applications, has mainly been repurposed to the latter usage, Sutter told the show.

The decline in oil shale-generated electricity will see wind power emerge as the next cheapest type of energy, though at the moment not at levels which would head off the current, record high price.

"There are simply too few of these wind farms at the moment. If there were enough of them, we would not have seen such price peaks," Sutter said.

"We should significantly accelerate the launch of wind power in Estonia," he continued.

When asked what the EU's "Fit for 55" climate plan means for Eesti Energia, Sutter called it an extremely ambitious plan, one which means action must be taken immediately to meet the goals.

Per-megawatt-hour electricity prices have seen records set and then broken in succession since the summer, with the latest and current high standing at €263.96 per MWh on the Nordpool trading market.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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