Fingrid’s electricity system vision prepares for a significant increase in electricity consumption and production
Fingrid has published an electricity system vision addressing the long-term development needs of the main grid as well as the changes in the electricity system and market resulting from the energy transition.
The vision work is based on future scenarios describing the structure of electricity production and consumption. The scenarios describe changes in the electricity system and Finland’s opportunities to compete for new investments in the production and consumption of clean energy. The strong electrification of society plays a key role in the EU’s efforts to break away from fossil energy. In addition to direct electrification, the need for hydrogen and electric fuels will also increase across various sectors. Finland’s ability to generate clean and affordable electricity is a significant advantage when competing for new consumption investments utilising clean energy.
“It seems that the growth in wind power will continue to be very strong in the 2020s, and interest in the construction of solar and offshore wind power is also on the rise. During the past year, enquiries from electricity-intensive industry to connect to Fingrid’s main grid have also increased significantly. Finland is currently one of the hottest markets for clean electricity in Europe”, says Mikko Heikkilä, Manager, Strategic Grid Planning at Fingrid.
The ability of the main grid to connect new projects and transmit production to electricity demand facilities is key to making a significant increase in the production and consumption of electricity in the system possible. Based on the reviews included in the vision, Fingrid’s current investment plan already enables the connection of a considerable amount of new production and consumption, but the realisation of the highest production and consumption scenarios requires extensive main grid reinforcements in addition to the current investment plan. At the same time, in addition to the construction of the grid, new innovative solutions are also needed to maximize the transmission capacity of the existing grid as well as the new one to be constructed and to increase its utilisation rate. For example, mechanisms that control the location of consumption and production or mitigate grid restrictions must be investigated. This would allow more new projects to be connected to the main grid more quickly.
The scenarios also challenge us to examine how the increase in production and consumption affects the entire electricity system, and to what extent current operating methods need to be changed. An increase in production that varies according to the weather and, on the other hand, a decrease in adjustable production provoke discussion about the adequacy and price of electricity, the realisation and availability of the flexibility required, and the sufficiency of the reserves needed to manage disturbances. With the energy transition, the technical characteristics of the system are also changing, which introduces its own challenges that need to be solved. We hope that the scenarios will challenge the energy sector to together discuss what the future means and how the challenges can best be solved in cooperation.
Fingrid will continue to work on developing the main grid, and the next step is to update the main grid development plan, which will be published in the summer of 2023. The development plan sets out the main grid investments planned to be made over the next ten years.
Mikko Heikkilä, Manager, Strategic Grid Planning, Fingrid Oyj, tel. +358 40 6374720
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