26.11.2018 14:07
Current News, Electricity Market, Power System

Risk of electricity shortage low this coming winter

Fingrid estimates that the risk of electricity shortage this coming winter in Finland is on the same level as previous years. Electricity is expected to be sufficient during cold sub-zero periods, if the electricity system and the market operate as expected.

During sub-zero periods this coming winter, the risk of electricity shortage in Finland will be on the same level as previous years. A situation of electricity shortage caused by the weather is possible, if Finland, including Southern Finland, were to experience a long and severe period of sub-zero temperatures. In that case Fingrid estimates that, in a situation of peak consumption, electricity consumption in Finland will rise to approximately 15,200 MW, and one-fifth of the electricity, approximately 3,200 MW will be imported from abroad.

Electricity will be sufficient during cold sub-zero periods if the electricity system and electricity market function as normal. The expected electricity consumption can be covered through domestic electricity production and imported electricity from neighbouring countries. In situations of peak consumption, almost all electricity production and import connections are in full use. In international electricity markets, the market mechanism guides electricity movements sufficiently and electricity is transmitted where it is most needed.  Electricity import may also replace domestic production, if the electricity is more cheaply available from neighbouring countries.

“People have learnt to think about the electricity market on a pan-European level. We already know now that Sweden’s electricity production capacity in a situation of peak consumption will be approximately 700 MW less this coming winter than it was last winter. Finland also has good connections to Estonia. At a time of high consumption, electricity can be imported to the Nordic countries over long distances directed by the market,” Reima Päivinen, Senior Vice President of Fingrid.

Hardly any changes in the consumption situation from the previous winter

In the winter of 2017-2018, December and January were milder than the average temperature, whilst February was colder than average. The peak of electricity consumption, 14,062 MWh/h, happened on the last day of February, the 28th, between 9 and 10 a.m. Domestic production was then 10,602 MWh/h and net import 3,460 MWh/h. The average temperature weighted according to the national electricity consumption was -21°C at the time of peak consumption. Finland’s all-time electricity consumption record, 15,105 MWh/h was measured in January 2016. Then the corresponding temperature was -25°C.

Together with local distribution system operators, Fingrid has prepared for a situation in which the sufficiency of electricity in Finland would be under threat. Electricity shortage is a manageable situation in which electricity consumption has to be restricted. Restrictions on electricity consumption would most likely momentarily apply to a small minority of electricity consumers. For the household consumer, electricity shortage would mean a power outage lasting no more than a few hours. Electricity supply for functions important to society can also be secured in cases of power shortfall.

Monitor the status of Finland’s electricity system

You can monitor the status of Finland’s electricity system almost in real time at the address https://www.fingrid.fi/online/

The map showing the situation in the electricity system is updated every three minutes. The website provides information on electricity consumption and production in Finland, the power balance and the price of electricity in Finland.

Further information:

Reima Päivinen, Senior Vice President, tel. +358 30 395 5160 or +358 40 556 2662

Electricity shortage means that production and import are not enough to cover consumption, so consumption has to be momentarily restricted. In public, the terms power- or electricity shortage are used interchangeably.