No electricity shortage last week despite demand outstripping supply

Power lines in Estonia.
Power lines in Estonia. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

While temperatures last week dropped below -20C in some parts of the country, and electricity generation clearly lagged behind consumption, there was no threat of shortages, state-owned grid distributor Elering says.

Elering spokesperson Elo Ellermaa said: "When consumption in Estonia is significantly higher than output, and a large part of the electricity is imported, this does not mean that the electricity was imported to cover the deficit, or that Estonia does not have sufficient production capacity to cover the consumption.

"Import volume is largely determined by the price. When cheaper electricity from the Nordic countries arrives in Estonia, the more expensive production capacities in Estonia will not be able to enter the market," Ellermaa went on.

"If you look at the entire Baltic region, the lowest reserve was approximately 1,000MW, which was local production capacity, without import capacity. In reality, imports came from Nordic countries, so the real reserve was actually larger."

The peak production in Estonia last week stood at 1,065 MWh (January 3 at 10 am). Consumption at that moment was 1,144 MWh. The average production last week stood at 747 MWh, while the minimum generation was €508 MWh (at 9 a.m. on January 6). Consumption stood at €1,337 MWh during that hour.

The lowest electricity consumption posted came last Monday January 2, at t3 a.m., when it stood at 760 MWh. The average consumption for the whole week was about 1.122 MWh, week starting January 2.

The second half of last week saw temperatures plummet to as low as -24C in northeastern Estonia, on Friday – the same day the highest consumption rate of the, admittedly new, year was posted (1,362 MW, at 4 p.m.).

Compared with the price levels posted in the past 18 months, the Nord Pool exchange level was comparatively low, at an average of €104.8 per MWh for the week.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte, Marko Tooming

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