The Electricity Market Act introduced last September obliges grid operators to enhance the security of electricity supply. Markus Männik installed underground power cable on Stenbäckinkatu in Helsinki on Friday.The Electricity Market Act introduced last September may result in an increase in the prices of electricity transmission services, spokespersons at grid operators estimate. 

In particular, the prices may creep up in sparsely populated areas, where the costs of the necessary development projects will be the highest. “The Electricity Market Act places customers in an unequal position,” argues Matti Ryhänen, the managing director at Savon Voima Verkko.

Under the new act, grid operators are obliged to enhance the security of electricity transmission by 2028 by, for example, installing underground power lines. 

Kenneth Hänninen, the director at Finnish Energy Industries, says that the greatest concern associated with the revised Electricity Market Act is how the requisite improvements can be realised while maintaining reasonable consumer prices. 

“In our region, the prices may jump by up to 30—40 per cent by 2020. The fact that the prices will be higher than in urban regions may encourage energy-intensive manufacturing companies to move their operations away from the countryside,” Ryhänen points out.

The Ministry of Employment and the Economy estimated while drawing up the Electricity Market Act that nationwide the consumer prices of electricity transmission services would increase by an average of ten per cent. 

The estimate remains valid, says Esa Härmälä, the director-general of the Energy Department at the Ministry of Employment and the Economy.

The introduction of the act will not influence the transmission prices of Elenia because the regional grid operator has gradually increased the share of underground cables of its electricity network for several years, says Tapani Liuhala, the CEO at Elenia. “I don't foresee any dramatic changes,” he assures.

Ari Koponen, the CEO at Caruna, contrastively admits that the stricter regulations on the security of electricity supply increase the pressure to raise transmission prices, especially in the short term. On the other hand, he reminds that the Finnish electricity grid is relatively old and in need of an upgrade regardless of the new Electricity Market Act. 

Kaisa Läärä, Tuija Sorjanen – HS
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Leif Rosas