Finnish Homes Told to Plan for Rolling Power Cuts Next Winter

Finnish Homes Told to Plan for Rolling Power Cuts Next Winter

23 Aug    Finance News, Physics

Finns must prepare for power cuts this winter as there will be no supplies from Russia to help meet peak demand.

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(Bloomberg) — Finns must prepare for power cuts this winter as there will be no supplies from Russia to help meet peak demand. 

It’s the latest sign of how Europe’s energy crisis is getting worse, and the warning from network manager Fingrid Oyj comes just after neighboring Norway said it might curb exports to ensure supplies. Elsewhere, the UK is making plans for organized blackouts. 

If there isn’t enough power, Fingrid will order local distributors to disconnect a certain amount of capacity for two hours at the time, Tuomas Rauhala, senior vice president of power system operations, said in a statement. 

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About 10% of the nation’s power came from its eastern neighbor last year. But flows ended in May, days after Finnish policy makers announced a plan to join the NATO defense alliance following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Exports of natural gas, which isn’t widely used for heating or power production in Finland, have also been cut to zero. 

A peak demand situation could see power consumption in the Nordic country reach 15,100 megawatts, according to the first estimate of electricity demand for the winter period by Fingrid. Domestic production covers about 85% of that, including reserve power, the network company said on its website. The rest would be covered by imports from Sweden and the Baltic countries.

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A particular challenge occurs if temperatures plunge in Finland and other countries around the Baltic Sea at the same time, risking the availability of imports as demand is high everywhere, Fingrid said, urging Finns to also reduce and time their power consumption. 

Separately, Fingrid, Sweden’s Svenska Kraftnat and Denmark’s Energinet said they’re “deeply concerned” by a proposal from Norway to reduce capacity on electricity interconnectors to protect security of supply and urged the government in Oslo to reconsider the plan. 

“If export restrictions were to be allowed under the current European electricity regulation, we fear that such a step could inspire other countries to consider similar restrictions and thus causing a much bigger negative effect on both the Nordic and the European electricity markets,” the companies said.

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