This week, unions are staging political strikes targeting electricity and heating plants. According to energy company expert Peter Strandberg of The Waterfall Electricity Market, these strikes in the midst of freezing weather could create significant difficulties for electricity and heat production. While it is unlikely that the plants will be shut down entirely, a breakdown could cause concerns about spot prices and electricity supply.
While the impact of these strikes on spot prices is currently not very high, market estimates predict that the VAT-free spot price of electricity will remain at around 55-70 euros per megawatt hour between Wednesday and Friday. The union has planned 24-hour strikes from February 14th to 16th at various locations, including Loviisa nuclear power plant, Olkiluoto nuclear power plant, and multiple hydropower plants.
Other unions have also announced strikes for Helsinki, Pietarsaari, and Kuopio. A notable event for the electricity market is Olkiluoto 3’s upcoming maintenance break, which may result in high or stable prices if the cold weather continues.
The good water situation is a positive indication at present due to strong storms in December and January. This situation can limit electricity price development by serving as a limiting factor.
According to CEO Jukka Leskelä of the delivery company for district heating customers during the strikes can be ensured without any problems but with a large number of staff potentially affected, the situation is fragile as unexpected incidents could result in plants being shut down entirely. He also criticizes trade unions for taking risks out of their control when they cannot predict electricity consumption, production, import or wind power situation while issuing strike notices.