This week, electricity and heating plants are facing political strikes organized by trade unions. These strikes, which take place during the freezing season, could cause significant difficulties for electricity and heat production. While it is expected that the plants will not be shut down entirely, a breakdown could lead to concerns about spot prices and electricity supply.
The energy company The Waterfall Electricity Market Expertise, Peter Strandberg, has estimated that the VAT-free spot price of electricity will remain at around 55-70 euros per megawatt hour between Wednesday and Friday. 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 in Helsinki, Pietarsaari, and Kuopio.
Another 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. Despite this potential risk, CEO Jukka Leskelä believes that delivery of district heating to customers can be ensured during the strikes. However, with a large number of staff potentially affected by these strikes, the situation is fragile as unexpected incidents could result in plants being shut down entirely.
Leskelä also criticized the trade unions for playing with “big risks” and things that are out of their control when issuing strike notices. He stated that they cannot predict electricity consumption, production, import or wind power situation when striking. Despite this criticism from Leskelä, trade unions continue to organize political strikes in an effort to address concerns about working conditions and pay for their members within the electricity industry.