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Cold weather causing electricity production deficit, higher prices

Eesti Energia's Narva power plant.
Eesti Energia's Narva power plant. Source: Artur Tooman/ERR

While the currently very cold weather will doubtlessly affect both participants and spectators at Estonia's centennial events, it is great news for the country's electricity producers, as the cold is driving both consumption and price.

Member of Eesti Energia's management, Raine Pajo, told ERR's radio news on Friday that this year's colder period is no exception and that the producers are profiting from the peak in energy consumption.

"Today Estonia as a whole consumes some 1,400 megawatts, and we produce some 1,350. So we're producing almost as much electricity as Estonia consumes. Then there are other power stations as well that add another 150 megawatts. So the cold weather is certainly positive," Pajo said, adding that production costs were currently low.

Pajo also said that looking back over the last few months, the current price was almost 150 percent of what it was, which added to the profitability of the business for producers.

Eesti Energia's record output of 1,900 megawatts of January 2016 is still unsurpassed, and likely won't be broken this year either, as the cold period isn't forecast to last very long.

In addition to the cold weather, the price and volumes are currently also affected by low input on the part of hydroelectric power plants in the Nordic and Baltic area, Pajo said. Because of the low levels, Finland, at a total consumption of some 13,000 megawatts, is currently only producing 10,000, which means that there is a 3,000 megawatt cap to close, leading to increased imports from Sweden, but also from Russia.

The Lithuanian network region is also looking at a production deficit, with a production of no more than a few hundred megawatts, while consumption is at some 1,800. "They're also importing electricity from Sweden, Poland, Estonia, and also from Russia," Pajo said.

Eesti Energia's Narva power plant is Estonia's largest. Despite the currently very high demand, not all of its blocks are running, as some are currently undergoing repairs.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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