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Finland’s Electricity Prices Fall Below Zero

Surging hydroelectric power, new nuclear reactors online, and an influx of solar and wind capacity additions sent electricity prices in Finland below zero on Wednesday, in a stark reversal from last year when residents were warned of shortages after Russia cut off pipeline gas supply to its EU neighbor.  

“The average price for the day is now slightly, but nevertheless, on the negative side. Yes, it is historic,” Jukka Ruusunen, chief executive officer of grid operator Fingrid, told local news outlet Yle.

Abundant meltwater is raising hydropower production, while the newest nuclear reactor in Europe – and the biggest by capacity – started producing electricity in Finland last month. Olkiluoto 3, which has completed test production and is now regularly producing electricity, is expected to account for 30% of Finland’s power generation, the plant operator, TVO, says.

Operational issues have plagued the 1,600 MW reactor for years. But now it is expected to produce electricity for the next 60 years and is a significant addition to clean domestic production, TVO said.

After the start-up of Olkiluoto 3, power prices in Finland saw a 75% plunge between December 2022 and April 2023.  

In addition, growing solar and wind capacity is also contributing to a cleaner and more abundant power supply in Finland.

“Last winter, the only thing people could talk about was where to get more electricity. Now we are thinking hard about how to limit production. We have gone from one extreme to another,” Ruusunen told Yle.

“Now there is enough electricity, and it is almost emission-free. So you can feel good about using electricity,” Fingrid’s CEO said.

In another significant boost to Finland’s renewable energy capacity, Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) and Myrsky Energia (Myrsky) on Wednesday announced a partnership to develop more than 1.8 GW of onshore wind power in Finland.

“This transaction puts Finland on track to become a European leader in the energy transition and will make a material contribution toward Finland’s 2035 carbon neutrality target,” CIP said in a statement.  

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By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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