Monday's electricity generation output record level for 2021

Oil shale production in Auvere, Ida-Viru County.
Oil shale production in Auvere, Ida-Viru County.

Electricity generation output nationwide on Monday was its highest of 2021, with 10 days of the year to go.

Elo Elermaa, spokesperson for grid distributor Elering, told ERR that: " Indeed, yesterday aw the peak of production for the near future. The average production capacity in the one morning stood at 1,481 MW."

Generation was at full capacity, Ellermaa added, with power plants in Narva accounting for 80 percent of peak generation (around 1,200 MW).

 The peak figure was posted between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. on Monday, Elermaa said, while between 9.00 a.m. and 10 a.m. the figure was 1,471 MW; an hour earlier it stood at 1,458 MW.

From 11 a.m. to 12 a.m., the generation stood at 1,444 MW.

 While generation exceeded consumption on Monday this will not necessarily translate into lower prices in the immediate term, Elering says. Moreover, excess production is exported, via the NordPool market.

At peak consumption, between 4.00 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Monday, when the figure was 1,371 MW, production still outstripped it, and stood at 1,403 MW.

 Estonia's cogeneration plants – at Iru and Paide – which also produce district heating, piped in as hot water, to municipalities, as well as electricity, were also in operation, while wind farms were operating at 200 MW capacity until 8.00 a.m., 150 MW thereafter.

 The previous record figure for generation posted this year was recorded between 11.00 a.m. and 12.00 p.m. on February 2 (1,444 MW) while Tuesday's generation output is likely to get close to a new record as well.

The all-time record comes from January 21 2019, at 2,203 MW.

2020 saw some power station units dormant, due to reduced demand in the initial waves of the coronavirus. The highest figure for 2020 posted was 1,142, which came on September 15.

Average electricity price daily records have been broken and re-set several times since summer, with the peak for the whole day so far being €469 per MWh (within a single hour, prices have surpassed the €1,000 MWh-per-hour mark at least once).

One of the arguments put forward over the soaring rates is demand outstripping supply.

Wind farms often cannot operate during the winter, it has also been argued.

Power stations in Ida-Viru County generally run on shale oil, mined and refined locally, and a sector under pressure due to EU climate change goals. Some of these power stations can also run on woody biomass - itself not seen by the EU as a renewable energy source as it once had been, in the 1990s.

Estonia has no nuclear power station.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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