This week, trade unions are planning political strikes that target electricity and heating plants. The energy company, The Waterfall Electricity Market Expertise, Peter Strandberg warns that these strikes may cause significant difficulties for electricity and heat production during the freezing season. While it is expected that the plants will not be shut down, a breakdown could lead to concerns about spot prices and supply of electricity.
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, stating that they are “playing with quite big risks” and “things that are out of their control,” as they cannot predict electricity consumption, production, import, or wind power situation when issuing strike notices.
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. Other unions have announced strikes for Helsinki, Pietarsaari, and Kuopio as well.
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. It has been influenced by strong storms in December and January and this situation can serve to limit electricity price development.