27.10.2016 13:05
Current News, International News, Electricity Market

Electricity markets of the Baltic Sea region preparing for a change in the power system

The directors of the Finnish, Swedish, Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian and Polish transmission system operators met in Helsinki on 26 October. The fast change in the electricity system affecting the countries of the Baltic Sea region was discussed in the event hosted by Fingrid. The transfer to a green electricity system provides challenges but also opportunities to the entire region, emphasising the significance of international cooperation.
In the opinion of Fingrid's President and CEO Jukka Ruusunen, the meeting was a success. -The significance of the Baltic countries is essential to the Finnish security of supply. Next winter, Finns heating their houses with electricity will again be dependent on reliable electricity transmission from the Baltic countries. Regional cooperation and electricity market must function even in tough situations, states Ruusunen. The EstLink cross-border connections between Finland and Estonia can be used on a cold winter day to import electricity corresponding to the amount produced by a large nuclear plant.
 
One of the topics discussed was the planned detachment of the Baltic countries from the Russian electricity system. One of the alternatives to be examined is technically connecting the Baltic countries to the Nordic electricity system. This would mean the significant strengthening of the cross-border connections between Finland and Estonia. Alternatively, the Baltic countries could be connected to the Central European electricity system via Poland. The project, politically supported by the European Commission, can be carried out at the end of the 2020s at the earliest. Fingrid participates in the technical surveys concerning the project's electricity system.
 
In the main grid owners' meeting, the development and market integration of the European electricity market were also more widely dealt with. Fingrid actively participates in the project that aims at integrating the balancing power markets of the Nordic and Baltic countries. The goal of the cooperation is to increase the security of electricity supply in the area as cost effectively as possible. This is especially important to Finland, which depends heavily on electricity imports during the lowest winter temperatures.
 
The cross-border connection between Sweden and Lithuania, commissioned last spring, linked the Baltic countries even more closely with the Nordic wholesale electricity market. - The next important step would be fully opening the electricity retail market to competition in all Baltic countries. Customers must be freed from regulated structures. In the new energy system, the focus is on the customer, says Jukka Ruusunen.

Further information:
Jukka Ruusunen, President & CEO, tel. +358 30 395 5140
Juha Hiekkala,  Manager, tel. +358 30 395 5108