ENTSO-E: Uncertainties surrounding the adequacy of electricity in Europe this winter
On 1 December, the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E) published a report on the adequacy of electricity in Europe in the coming winter. The report points to several risks related to the adequacy of electricity in the Nordic countries and elsewhere in Europe.
ENTSO-E’s Winter Outlook 2022–2023 shows risks related to the adequacy of electricity in Finland, Southern Sweden and Denmark. Risks were also identified elsewhere in Europe, especially in France and Ireland. There will be plenty of electricity in the Nordic countries for most of the winter, but the report also points to certain events that could impair the adequacy of electricity. For example, major faults in power plants or transmission connections could lead to an electricity shortage.
The report presents a scenario based on ENTSO-E’s best estimate, whereby the risk of an electricity shortage is recognised in Finland and elsewhere in the Nordic countries, but the likelihood of a protracted electricity shortage is low. Electricity shortages are less likely if consumption can be reduced during challenging consumption peaks. In other words, the savings enacted across various sectors will improve the adequacy of electricity dramatically.
The report also presents an unfavourable scenario in which the restart of electricity production at Olkiluoto 3 and the maintenance of the Ringhals 4 nuclear power unit in Southern Sweden are both delayed for the entire winter. This scenario also envisages restrictions on production in France, Germany and Poland, and no electricity savings during consumption peaks. This chain of events would increase the likelihood of an electricity shortage, particularly in Finland, France and Poland. The uncertainties in the prevailing situation emphasise the importance of continuing to save electricity and ensuring reliable domestic production and imports to safeguard the adequacy of electricity in Finland.
Tuomas Rauhala, Senior Vice President, Fingrid Oyj, tel. +358 40 506 4695
Fact box: ENTSO-E’s report considers the risks affecting the adequacy of electricity
ENTSO-E’s report describes a simulation of Europe’s electricity markets, including electricity production and consumption in each country and transmission between regions on an hourly level. The report considers the impact of the weather on electricity consumption and production based on the weather conditions in past years. This makes it possible to account for factors such as fluctuations in wind power output between different regions. To assess the risks related to the adequacy of electricity, the model also included unforeseen failures in power plants and transmission connections. Failures are modelled based on probabilities. For example, they may be based on the frequencies and durations of failures in transmission connections in recent years.
The analysis makes it possible to calculate the potential hours of electricity shortages in each region, when the market supply of electricity is not enough to cover consumption. The key indicators calculated to describe the adequacy of electricity in these hours are the loss of load expectation and expected energy not served. The expected values are calculated as averages of a combination of different weather years and failures; therefore, they paint a reliable picture of the expected situation.
The scenario based on the best estimate for Finland predicts a loss of load expectation of less than 0.2 hours, while the unfavourable scenario foresees a loss of load expectation of 11 hours. This means that Finland can expect electricity shortages averaging this number of hours in the winter. The adequacy of electricity fluctuates significantly in individual years due to weather conditions and failures.