Ministry: No potential extra energy from Russia before start of 2022

Christmas lights.
Christmas lights. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

No additional electricity from Russia will enter the market before the start of 2022 as Baltic system operators have not yet reached an agreement, said Timo Tatar, undersecretary of Energy at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications on Thursday.

"There is no big breakthrough in this respect. The issue has been raised with Lithuania, Lithuania is analyzing what can be done. There is no overnight solution here," he said.

Lithuania suspended the purchase of electricity from Belarus last year as it considers the Astravyats nuclear power plant to be unsafe. The plant is less than 50 kilometers from Vilnius.

As a result, Russia and Belarus' electricity share in the Baltic States decreased by approximately 20 percent. 

But this week, the Baltic states have started discussions about allowing more Russian electricity to enter the market after months of record-breaking prices.

Tatar said Lithuania has said electricity trade with Russia should not be zero but it is too early to talk about anything more.

A new methodology agreement between system operators is not expected before the start of next year. This means Russian electricity exports to the Baltic market will remain at 200 MW.

"If we want to look at this [methodology] in any way, it requires a new agreement between system operators, its coordination with energy market regulators and then informing and consulting market participants, as it actually affects the functioning of the electricity market and all market participants," Tatar explained. 

Tatar emphasized that even if additional electricity is obtained from Russia, it will not solve the region's energy problems.

"As I have said before, Russian electricity is not a silver bullet or magic wand - it is an addition to the supply side which makes the situation a little easier and will perhaps prevent the biggest price shocks, but it is also speculation," he said.

Tatar said the most important thing is that the Baltic states reach production capacity.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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