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Electricity is expected to be sufficient in Finland during the cold winter months - long periods of sub-zero temperatures may restrict the importation of electricity from neighbouring countries

Publication date 3.12.2021 8.58 | Published in English on 3.12.2021 at 15.13
Press release

The Energy Authority is expecting Finland’s production capacity and importation of electricity from neighbouring countries to meet the demand for electricity this winter. However, the capacity situation in Central Sweden is worsening, and simultaneous peak consumption in neighbouring countries could affect the availability of imported electricity. Reserve power plants are ready to operate if the production and consumption of electricity are not balanced in market conditions.

The Energy Authority estimates the risk of electricity shortage to be small in the winter of 2021–2022. Available domestic production capacity and electricity transmission connections to neighbouring countries are usually sufficient to meet the estimated need for capacity.
However, sufficient capacity may be threatened if peak consumption in Finland coincides with the SE3 region of Central Sweden. That could impair the availability of imported electricity. Similarly, several simultaneous failures in the domestic production capacity or transfer connections could lead to insufficient capacity.

Market-based domestic production capacity available during peak consumption has decreased by 100 megawatts from the capacity predicted last winter. Key changes in the electricity production capacity in 2021 include partial decommissioning of the power plants of the Veitsiluoto factory (-65 MW) and shutting down the Laanilan Voima power plant (-30 MW). Approximately 800–1,000 megawatts of new wind power capacity has been completed or is announced to be completed during 2021. However, the growth of wind power estimated to be available during peak consumption is insufficient to replace other lost electricity production capacity. The Energy Authority estimates that approximately 6% of the wind power capacity is available during peak consumption.

Peak consumption covered by imported electricity

On a cold winter day, the estimated peak electricity consumption is approximately 15,100 megawatts. The available domestic market-based production capacity during peak consumption is estimated to total approximately 10,700 megawatts. 

To meet the demand for electricity, Finland needs approximately 3,800 megawatts of imported electricity during peak consumption. On market terms, the amount of imported electricity may exceed this number, and it is unnecessary to use the entire domestic production capacity during peak consumption. Through transfer connections, the import capacity from the neighbouring countries to Finland is approximately 5,100 megawatts.

As of last spring, the Swedish transmission system operator has restricted transmission from Finland to Central Sweden. The transmission of electricity from Sweden to Finland was not restricted. 

When necessary, balance between electricity demand and supply is ensured with reserve power. During the winter, reserve power plants can be put to use within 12 hours, and they can produce a total of 611 megawatts of electricity. The plants are only operated if balance cannot be reached on market terms. 

The table shows the estimated capacity balance in Finland on a cold winter day during the winter of 2021–2022. The figures do not include Fingrid’s system reserves. 

A cold winter day
(once in every 10 years):

Production capacity (market-based) 10 700 MW
Reserve power 611 MW
Consumption 15 100 MW
Finland’s capacity balance without import - 3 800 MW
Production capacity from other countries 5 100 MW

Importation of natural gas meets demand

In the coming winter, the importation of natural gas is expected to meet demand. Completion of the Puiatu and Paldinski compressor stations in Estonia in 2021 has increased the import capacity through the Balticconnector. 

According to Gasgrid Finland, the operational capability of both Finnish and Russian gas systems will be normal in the winter of 2021–2022. In addition, an average amount of gas is stored in the Latvian gas storage. This gas storage also caters for the needs of Finland.

In the event of disruptions in the availability of gas in Finland, natural gas for protected customers would be replaced by liquefied natural gas (LNG) , biogas or liquefied petroleum gas.

Additional information: Specialist Henri Hämäläinen, tel. +358 (0)29 5050 145, [email protected].

Reports on the security of electricity supply are available in Finnish.

Security of electricity supply in 2021 (pdf)
Security of gas supply in 2021 (pdf)


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