Konrad Hanschmidt, chief executive officer of Gridio, a company that focuses on optimizing electricity consumption, said the addition of wind farms in Finland lowers electricity prices in the summer, but insufficient output during the winter months may cause prices to climb again.
Before the start of the year, the weather in Europe was rather warm, which lowered electricity prices. "The backdrop for the entire energy policy is heat records that appear to be caused by climate change. Low prices were brought about by the weather. Fortunately, we were able to restart the power plants, and the Oskarshamn nuclear power station in Sweden relaunched. People all over Europe have been exceptionally good at saving energy and getting plants up and running, so it is not surprising that when the windy weather arrived, prices began to fall," Hanschmidt said. "The question is whether this trend will continue."
Hanschmidt said that so far, universal service subscribers have benefited financially from the exchange package. However, also the exchange rate has been surprisingly favorable in the first few days of January.
"Right now, the weather is the most important factor in the price. If you believe you can predict the weather accurately, you might be more willing to invest in a stock market package. Personally, I would not do so just yet because, while the electricity smells like spring—the weather is warm and windy, and the power stations are running—we are still about 2000 MW short of Russian electricity in the Nordic countries compared to last year, and all we need is for temperatures to drop sharply here, a power station to shut down, or a cable to be repaired, and we could be back to December prices very quickly," Hanschmidt said.
In February, the situation could move back to a point where people who are able to adjust their consumption patterns will benefit from using an exchange-based rate.
"We are in an electricity situation in which we may not have enough security supply during the winter of next year. It may only take a couple of stations to fail for electricity prices to skyrocket once again. Regrettably, Estonia has not addressed this situation yet," Hanschmidt said. This would necessitate faster development and assurance that the stations are operational, he added
Finland has added about 2000 MW of wind farms and the summer pricing reflects this; in the spring and summer, rates could fall below 10 cents per kilowatt-hour, Hanschmidt said. "Everything is looking fine during the summer, but as soon as the temperature drops and the wind subsides, the discussion returns," he added.
Editor: Kristina Kersa