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Enefit Power CEO: Finland's 3 gigawatt power deficit behind price spike

Enefit Power CEO Andres Vainola.
Enefit Power CEO Andres Vainola. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

Enefit Power's oil shale blocks definitely haven't driven up the price of electricity in Estonia on Tuesday, CEO Andres Vainola told ERR, citing instead Finland's significant electricity deficit as the cause.

The first truly cold day of the season saw the market price of electricity go up severalfold in both Estonia and Finland, noted Vainola, the head of the Estonian state-owned Eesti Energia subsidiary.

"Finland is in a power deficit; as of today, they're more than 3,000 megawatts (MW) short of consumption, so it's really Finland's high demand setting today's price," he explained.

The average price of electricity in Estonia and Finland jumped to €173.56 per megawatt-hour (MWh) on Tuesday; just one day earlier, the average price in Estonia stood at €45.25.

"There's no way our oil shale blocks have caused this market price – certainly not," the Enefit Power chief asserted. "It's difficult to estimate whether some consumer has waived consumption from a certain price or whether some old energy block somewhere in the Baltics has hit peak hourly prices. I know our producer prices that we offer to the market; I can confirm that we did not hit the market price, and especially those peak prices, today."

The company offered the entirety of its controllable production capacity to the market on Tuesday – more than 1,000 MW.

Nevertheless, only the electricity generated in its fluidized bed blocks actually reached the market, and that means that should the situation become more difficult in terms of supply, Eesti Energia will have sufficient production reserves, he said, adding that all of Enefit Power's production capacities but one Baltic Power Plant boiler plant are in operation.

According to Vainola, this means that the market didn't take everything they offered; that consumption isn't currently very high. Besides, it has been unusually windy for such cold weather.

"Wind output will be bigger in the Baltics on Wednesday already, which is actually a bit unnatural, because with such extreme cold there generally isn't as much wind as we're seeing in the Baltics today and tomorrow," he highlighted.

The CEO said that the company is prepared to offer the market 1,000 MW, but so as not to over-offer, they draw up forecasts for up to a week in advance.

"The market likely won't need that kind of capacity from us this week, but we're ready, on our part," he said.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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