Problems in Finland behind recent electricity price hike

Cross section of cabling of the type used in Estlink 2.
Cross section of cabling of the type used in Estlink 2. Source: Elering

A sharp rise in electricity prices in the second half of August was caused mainly by problems in the Finnish power system. Experts believe the hike will be short-lived.

"What happened last week was that first the wind died – Finland has thousands of megawatts of wind power and their output has fallen sharply," Marko Allikson, member of the board of Baltic Energy Partners, told ERR Friday.

"In addition, the Olkiluoto 2 nuclear plant went offline and will undergo repairs until September 4, if I'm not mistaken. One of the reactors of the Loviisa nuclear plant is also limited in its output, while the other is undergoing scheduled maintenance," Allikson explained.

The production shortfall in Finland is exacerbated by limited links to Sweden presently.

"Another great change that is keeping prices up in Finland are limited power exports from Sweden. While the total power transfer capacity between the two countries is 1,500 megawatts, only 240 MW is currently available. It clearly limits Sweden's power import to Finland," said Ingrid Arus, head of the Baltic region of the NordPool exchange.

Kalvi Nõu, energy trade portfolio manager for Alexela, added that the Auvere Power Plant in Estonia is also undergoing repairs until September 1, meaning that a further 300 MW is off the market as a result.

Finland's lower generation capacity and limited power import is the reason for soaring electricity prices in the region.

"This means that while power usually flows from Finland to Estonia, it is currently the other way around, especially during the day," Allikson said.

Electricity prices are at their highest this year in both Finland and Estonia. The average price hit €292.3 per megawatt-hour in Estonia on August 21, while peak hourly prices have exceeded €600/MWh. On Friday, the average price of electricity is €147.44/MWh.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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