In the coming winter, the adequacy of electricity in Finland will rely on domestic electricity generation and electricity imports
Based on estimates by Fingrid and ENTSO-E, the risk of Finland suffering an electricity shortage in the coming winter is low if the power system and electricity markets function normally. Finland remains dependent on electricity imports at times of peak consumption. The undisturbed operation of Finnish power plants, reliable cross-border interconnectors, and the generation and consumption volumes in neighbouring countries are all of great importance to Finland.
In Fingrid’s estimate, peak consumption in the coming winter could reach approximately 15,100 megawatts in Finland. At times of peak consumption, it is important that the power system and electricity market function normally. Simultaneous disturbances at significant electricity generation units or in electricity transmission connections could pose challenges to the adequacy of electricity. The most challenging situation would be a period of extreme cold in Finland and other countries in the Baltic Sea region at the same time. In such case, electricity consumption would be high, and the availability of imported electricity could be at risk. However, studies by ENTSO-E and the Baltic Sea region transmission system operators indicate that there will be enough electricity when the power system functions normally.
“According to our projections, there are no foreseeable problems in adequacy of electricity in the coming winter, but it is very important that the power system operates without disturbances. In addition to domestic generation, electricity imports from our neighbouring countries ensure adequacy at times of peak consumption,” states Reima Päivinen, Senior Vice President at Fingrid. “The recent increase in the electricity price throughout Europe does not directly affect the adequacy of electricity, but prices may rise dramatically for short periods. If necessary, we will use the reserves to ensure that there is enough electricity,” continues Päivinen.
Figure: Estimate of electricity generation and consumption on a very cold winter day in the 2021–2022 winter season.
In the coming winter season, electricity consumption is expected to remain at the previous year’s level. Electricity consumption in the forestry industry is expected to decrease due to the closure of a plant in the fourth quarter of the year, but consumption in other industries is expected to be higher than in the previous year. Autumn rainfall has improved the level of Nordic hydro reservoirs in recent weeks. The amount of thermal power capacity has decreased, but at the same time there has been a significant growth in wind power capacity. The development emphasises the increasing dependency on weather-dependent generation for the adequacy of electricity.
Electricity adequacy is expected to be on a sufficient level in the Baltic Sea region
The adequacy of electricity is analysed for the Baltic Sea region and Europe as a whole. Due to regional variations in the generation of renewable electricity, the transmission of electricity across borders is playing an increasingly important role in balancing electricity generation and consumption. ENTSO-E’s Winter Outlook 2021–2022 examines the adequacy of electricity in the coming winter on a European level. In addition, the Baltic Sea region transmission system operators have worked together to create a supplementary power balance in the Baltic Sea region.
According to the studies, no problems are expected in the coming winter in terms of the adequacy of electricity in the Baltic Sea region. As Finland, also Sweden and Denmark are dependent on electricity imports at times of peak consumption. Typically, consumption does not peak in every country at the same time, so electricity transmission is the key to ensuring the adequacy of electricity. Good electricity transmission connections between countries can also help to balance regional variations in weather-dependent generation. The increasing volume of wind power and sufficient transmission connections will improve the adequacy of electricity in the region.
Maarit Uusitalo, Manager, Network Operations, Fingrid Oyj, tel. + 358 30 395 4246 or +358 40 511 7568
Reima Päivinen, Senior Vice President, Fingrid, tel. +358 30 395 5160 or +358 40 556 2662