In the midst of the freezing season, trade unions are planning to organize political strikes that target electricity and heating plants. These strikes may lead to significant difficulties for electricity and heat production, according to Peter Strandberg of The waterfall electricity market expertise. While it is expected that the plants will not be shut down, a breakdown could cause concerns that in turn may affect spot prices and supply of electricity.
The VAT-free spot price of electricity is estimated to remain at around 55-70 euros per megawatt hour between Wednesday and Friday. The electricity union has planned 24-hour strikes between February 14th and 16th which include a reserve. The strikes will occur on Wednesday at the Loviisa nuclear power plant, Thursday at the Olkiluoto nuclear power plant, and Friday at various hydropower plants.
In addition to these strikes, other unions have announced strikes for Helsinki, Pietarsaari, and Kuopio. A significant 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 right now as it has been influenced by strong storms in December and January. This situation can serve to limit electricity price development.
According to CEO Jukka Leskelä, delivery of district heating to customers can be ensured during the strikes. However, with a large number of staff potentially affected, the situation is fragile as unexpected incidents could result in plants being shut down. Leskelä also criticizes the trade unions for playing with big risks as they cannot predict electricity consumption, production, import or wind power situation when issuing strike notices.