Energy Year 2009 - ELECTRICITY
Finnish Energy Industries
For publication 20 January 2010 10 a.m.
Electricity year 2009
Electricity consumption down by 7 percent due to recession
- industrial electricity requirement down by 16 percent,
but other consumption up by more than two percent
Electricity imports from Russia at record levels
Winter price spikes proof of need
to increase power generation capacity
Towards the end of last year, power consumption again turned to growth, an indication that the worst of the recession is over. For the first time in two years, industrial electricity consumption grew in December compared to the same month a year ago. Nevertheless, the slump left a definite mark on 2009, and electricity consumption fell by seven percent.
The greatest changes last year were the decline in industrial power consumption by 16 percent and the reduction in hydropower production by a quarter. Electricity imports from Russia reached an all-time high. Records were also broken in nuclear and wind power production. Figures in Finnish Energy Industries' Energy Year 2009 show that combined heat and power generation fell, along with industrial cogeneration.
The highest recorded peak output of the current winter – 14,077 MW – was reached on Thursday 17 December 2009. The peak output reached just before Christmas was about 790 MW higher than that of the winter period 2008/2009. During the hard frosts in January, the peak output may have risen even higher than before Christmas. During the frosts, there were two price spikes in electricity market prices: on 17 December, the most expensive hour was EUR 1,400/MWh, while on 8 January, the three priciest days cost EUR 1,000/MWh. Juha Naukkarinen, Managing Director of Finnish Energy Industries, believes that the price spikes are proof of the need to increase power generation capacity in Finland and Sweden.
Due to recession, electricity consumption down by 7 percent
Last year, Finland consumed 80.8 billion kilowatt hours (terawatt hours, TWh) of electricity; the decline from 2008 was 6.5 TWh or 7.4 percent. Adjusted for temperature, power consumption fell last year by 8.8 percent.
Last year, combined heat and power generation (CHP) covered almost 30 percent of electricity consumption, nuclear power almost 28 percent, hydropower a good 15 percent, and coal and other condensing power more than 11 percent. The share of wind power was 0.3 percent. Net electricity imports accounted for 15.0 percent of energy consumption.
CHP production (24.2 TWh) fell by almost nine percent due to the contraction in industrial production. However, the amount of CHP electricity increased by 1 percent from 2008, while industrial CHP fell by one-fifth. Nuclear power production (22.6 TWh) reached an all-time record level.
Hydropower down by one-quarter
Hydropower (12.6 TWh) fell back by one-quarter on the record level reached the previous year. The requirement for condensing power (9.1 TWh), generated mostly from coal, increased by 3.7 percent. Wind power generation (0.3 TWh) grew by almost six percent with new wind power plants.
Net electricity imports (12.1 TWh) fell by over five percent. The water situation in the Nordic countries deteriorated clearly on the year before, and remained below long-term average levels throughout the year. Electricity imports from Sweden and Norway fell on the previous year, and exports took the lead in Finland’s electricity trade with the Nordic countries, like the year before. Electricity imports from Estonia fell by one-fifth. The imports from Russia, on the other hand, were up by eight percent and reached an all-time high. A good 14 percent of all electricity consumed in Finland last year was imported from Russia.
Share of industry in electricity consumption fell lower than ever before
The electricity required by industry declined last year by 16 percent. At the same time, the share of industry in Finland’s power consumption fell to 46 percent. The share is lower than ever before. In terms of volume, industrial consumption fell back last year to below the 1997 level. The greatest drop in electricity consumption was in the forest industry. In the autumn, there was a clear change for the better in industrial electricity consumption, and by December there was clear growth.
Last year, households and agriculture used about 29 percent of the total electricity, and services and construction about 22 percent. About 4 percent of the electricity was lost during transmission and distribution.
Carbon dioxide emissions from power generation 12.7 million tonnes
The emissions from power generation from coal, natural gas and peat were 12.7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide last year, about five percent more than the previous year. The increase is due to the contraction in CHP production, problems in the supply of biofuels, and the fact that coal has also replaced some of the use of gas. Last year, 63 percent of the electricity generated in Finland was greenhouse gas emissions-free. The share of renewable energy sources was 31 percent of all power production.
Market electricity on average a quarter cheaper than in 2008
On the Nord Pool Spot Power Exchange, electricity market prices were clearly lower last year than the year before. The mean market electricity price in Finland last year was 3.7 c/kWh, more than one-quarter lower than the average for 2008.
The price of electricity in Finland is one of the lowest in Europe. The EU Eurostat figures show that in terms of purchasing power, the price of domestic electricity is the cheapest in the EU countries and about one-third lower than the average price in the EU countries.
Massive investments in the energy sector
Of all industries, the energy sector has been the largest investor in our country for years. In 2009, the sector’s investments accounted for about half of all industrial investments in Finland. Over the next 15 years, estimated investments in electricity and district heating will reach about EUR 25-30 billion.
The vision of the future up to 2050, published by Finnish Energy Industries towards the end of 2009, predicts that electricity will replace fossil fuels in applications such as transport, heating and industrial processes. This will significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions, improve energy efficiency, and at the same time increase electricity consumption.
It is estimated that by 2030, 7,000-8,000 megawatts of new electricity generation capacity will be needed, rising to 19,000-27,000 MW by 2050.
Juha Naukkarinen, Managing Director, Tel. +358 (0)50 607 72
Pekka Tiusanen, Manager, Communications, Tel. +358 (0)50 552 1347
ELECTRICITY SUPPLY AND CONSUMPTION 2008–2009
Combined heat and power - CHP
+ Net imports
Change adjusted for temperature (2007/2008 -2.6 %) 2008/2009 -8.8 %
Source: Finnish Energy Industry