Stock exchange electricity customers face worst-case scenario as power plants go on strike

Navigating Uncertainty: Impact of Political Strike on Finnish Energy Industry and Market Prices

This week, the trade unions are staging a political strike that will target, among other things, electricity and heating plants. The impact of the strike could affect the availability of heat and the price of electricity. According to Peter Strandberg, an expert in waterfall electricity markets, the freezing season is not the best time for a politically organized strike as it can lead to significant difficulties in electricity and heat production.

Strandberg offers some relief by stating that while the plants will not be shut down in the coming days, there is still a possibility that they may break down if the situation changes. He emphasizes that if this happens, it could have significant implications on spot prices. The Finnish electricity market is currently not too worried about this situation and believes that between Wednesday and Friday, the VAT-free spot price of electricity will remain at around 55–70 euros per megawatt hour.

The trade union’s strikes are set to last 24 hours and will take place between February 14th and 16th. The scope of the strike includes a reserve which will be effective on specific dates targeting several power and heating plants. With Olkiluoto 3 going on maintenance break in March, uncertainty in the political situation affects the electricity market. Strandberg notes that while water conditions are favorable in Nordic countries at present, this has led to stabilization of electricity prices in those areas. However, Energy industry CEO Jukka Leskelä believes that despite deliveries of district heating being possible during these strikes, a significant number of staff affected by strikes may lead to a shutdown in plants due to their absence. This concern arises from potential limited production capacity due to reduced staffing levels during times when demand for heat is high.

Leskelä also highlights significant risks associated with these circumstances, foreseeing unpredictability in factors such as energy consumption situations and wind power production amidst strikes announced by Sähköliito earlier than planned on February 13th, 2024

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