The lack of transmission capacity between Finland and Sweden has prevented retailers from increasing electricity imports from Sweden further. Finland is increasingly dependent on imports to ensure the security of its electricity supply, but its main source of imports has changed. 

No more than a couple of years ago, Finland imported electricity particularly from Russia – to the extent that dependency on Russia was discussed at the galleries of the Parliament. Today, however, Sweden is the main source of electricity imports for Finland, recent statistics published by Fingrid reveal. 

Electricity imports from Sweden reached unprecedented levels between January and August, jumping by 62 per cent from the corresponding period last year to a total of 12.7 terawatt-hours. 

Between January and June, Finland imported 9.4 terawatt-hours from its western neighbour while consuming a total of 43 terawatt-hours of electricity. Electricity imports from Russia over the six-month period were only 1.3 terawatt-hours. 

Estonia, in turn, has been the only export destination for electricity produced in Finland following its integration into the Nordic electrical energy market alongside Latvia and Lithuania a few years ago. 

Within the Nord Pool Spot, electricity is only transmitted from a lower-priced bidding area to a higher-priced one, provided that there is available transmission capacity. At present prices, Finnish electricity is being exported to Estonia.

Jukka Ruusunen, the CEO at Fingrid, estimates that the increase in electricity imports from Sweden can be attributed to two factors: the massive delays in the construction of a third unit at the Olkiluoto Nuclear Power Plant and the electricity reform introduced in Russia, which has resulted in a steep decline in electricity imports. 

Finnish electricity retailers would be interested in increasing electricity imports from Sweden further but are unable to do so due to the lack of transmission capacity between the countries. 

Heikki Arola – HS
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Jussi Nukari / Lehtikuva