Electricity to cost 9,000 times more in Estonia than Finland Tuesday

Estlink power transmission cable.
Estlink power transmission cable. Source: Ain Köster/Elering

The electricity links between Estonia and Finland working at peak capacity and a cable between Lithuania and Sweden being out of commission will leave the Baltic's with the region's highest electricity prices this week. Power will cost times more in Estonia compared to Finland on Tuesday.

While the cost of electricity will even be negative in the wee hours and remain below €21 per megawatt-hour until 9 a.m. in Finland, the price will be €90/MWh from midnight until 9 in the morning in Estonia. The price difference will peak at 9,060 times between 5 a.m. and 6 a.m. when power will cost €0.01/MWh in Finland and €90.6 in Estonia, Nord Pool Baltic data suggests.

In Estonia, the price of electricity will peak at €183.4/MWh between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m.

Experts told ERR that the difference in price is caused by limited transmission capacity between countries, keeping cheaper electricity from reaching some of them.

"While wind farms and the Olkiluoto-2 nuclear reactor are back online in Finland, the total throughput capacity between the two countries (Estlink 1 and Estlink 2 cables) is just 1,000 megawatts, which is the maximum amount of power the Baltics can receive [from Finland]," Ingrid Arus, head of NordPool Baltic, told the public broadcaster.

Olavi Miller, market analysis strategist for Eesti Energia, said that while these developments in Finland will make power cheaper during hours when the Estlink cables have some capacity, the latter will be few as a 700-megawatt link between Sweden and Lithuania being out of commission means that the two Estlink cables bear the brunt of transmission between the Baltics and Nordics.

He added that the cause of the fault is still being ascertained and estimates suggest the Swedish-Lithuanian link will not be up again until Friday.

"That is why we will quite likely see major price differences between Estonia and Finland this week, with the Estlinks fully utilized for most of the time and the price much higher in the Baltics compared to Finland," Miller said.

Mitigating the situation somewhat is the fact that a 730 MW link between Estonia and Latvia is also not working at full capacity, keeping more of cheaper Finnish electricity in Estonia.

Electricity will cost €12-20/MWh in Estonia and €77-88/MWh in Latvia between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. Tuesday.


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Editor: Mait Ots, Marcus Turovski

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