Transmission grid

Image: Fingrid Oyj’s transmission grid on 1 January 2020

Demand essentially unchanged, increase in disturbances

The demand for electricity declined by approximately 1.5 (2) per cent compared with the previous year and totalled 86.1 (87.4) terawatt hours in 2019. Fingrid transmitted a total of 68.7 (68.6) terawatt hours of electricity in its grid, representing 76.0 (75.4) per cent of the transmission volume in Finland (consumption and inter-TSO).

The imported and domestically produced capacity was sufficient to meet the peak demand of 2019. The peak in electricity consumption, 14,542 (14,062) MWh/h was reached on Monday 28 January 2019 between 8 and 9 a.m., with Finland’s electricity production contributing 10,978 MWh/h and the remaining 3,564 MWh/h being imported. The area price of electricity on the day-ahead market in Finland was €70.05/MWh during the peak consumption hour.

While the summer of 2019 was dry in Finland, the Nordic water resources were at a normal level overall, leading to lower wholesale prices for electricity in the Nordic countries compared to the previous year. This was reflected in the high volumes of electricity imported from the Nordic countries. The volume of electricity transmissions from Russia to Finland slightly increased from 2018. Electricity transmissions between Finland and Sweden consisted mostly of large imports to Finland. The electricity transmissions between Finland and Estonia were dominated by exports from Finland to Estonia. The transmission was steered by the markets and the weekly transmission direction varied according to the current market situation. The price differences between the Nordic countries in 2019, which were large at times, resulted mainly from a different electricity production structure. The Norwegian production is mainly hydropower, while both hydro and nuclear power dominate in Sweden. The prices of electricity were in both countries depressed by the very low variable costs of these forms of production. The price differences became particularly high when Finland’s neighbours offered a large supply of hydro and wind power compared with the demand. Finland has often had to resort to also higher-cost forms of production because of the inherently higher dependence on electricity imports compared with the rest of the Nordics. Area prices between Finland and Sweden diverged in situations where the transmission capacity between the countries was insufficient to meet the demand for electricity. Another factor that has affected the Finnish electricity market is the decrease in imports from Russia. The decrease is due to Russia having started to subsidise its own production, which has increased the price of electricity in Russia.

Electricity imports from Russia increased slightly compared with 2018, and the intraday variations were large. The maximum transmission capacity was available almost throughout the year, with the exception of the annual maintenance work carried out at the Vyborg DC station and on the Russian grid in July, October and November. No export capacity to Russia was available. Maintenance-, capex- and fault-related transmission outages were implemented both on the cross-border connections between Sweden and Finland and on connections within the countries. The numbers and durations of the outages were at the normal level. The connections to Estonia and Russia were only subject to normal annual maintenance. Maintenance work has been scheduled on weekends and similar periods to limit the impact on the markets and electricity prices.


1-12/19 1-12/18 10-12/19 10-12/18
Countertrade between Finland and Sweden, €M 0.1 1.9 0.0 1.8
Countertrade between Finland and Estonia, €M 0.5 0.0 0.1 0.0
Countertrade between Finland’s internal connections, €M 0.3 2.2 0.0 0.2
Total countertrade, €M 0.9 4.1 0.1 2.0

Finland’s main grid operated reliably in 2019, at a high transmission reliability rate. The importance of electricity transmission reliability is illustrated by the fact that the cost of a nationwide major disturbance to customers and society at large would be in the region of EUR 100 million for each hour of outage.

There were no occasions calling for raised preparedness of disturbance clearing in 2019. We pro-actively raise our readiness when factors such as difficult weather are expected to pose challenges to grid maintenance to enable as rapid resolving and communication of disturbances as possible.

Our transmission reliability rate was 99.9998 (99.9999) per cent. Three significant disturbances took place on the transmission line between Siilinjärvi and Joensuu in eastern Finland in 2019, due to faulty equipment and natural phenomena.

An outage in a connection point in the grid caused by a disturbance in Fingrid’s electricity network lasted an average of 4.3 (12.0) minutes, which is equal to the ten-year average. The cost of the disturbances (regulatory outage costs) was EUR 2.7 (1.5) million, and including the quick reconnections, EUR 5.2 million.

Image: Interruptions at connection points due to grid disturbances

The reliability and availability of DC connections was overall at a good level in 2019, except for the drawn out disturbance in the EstLink 2 connection that started in late December and extended to January 2020. The number of disturbances and the total duration of disturbances were on the same level as in 2018. Countertrade costs totalled around EUR 547,000 in 2019.

Image: Disturbances in the HVDC connections – total duration and number of disturbances

Countertrade costs amounted to EUR 0.9 (4.1) million. The number of disturbances resulting in countertrade costs was exceptionally low in 2019. Countertrade refers to special adjustments made to manage electricity transmission which are used to eliminate short-term bottlenecks, i.e. areas where electricity transmission is congested, from the grid. Fingrid additionally guarantees the cross-border transmission it has confirmed by carrying out countertrades, i.e. purchasing and selling electricity, up until the end of the 24-hour usage period. The causes of countertrade include outages and disruptions in power plants or in the grid.

Transmission outages in connection with capex projects took place throughout Finland. Demanding outages require careful advance planning and close co-operation with customers.

Image: Countertrade costs caused by HVDC disturbances

Reserves required to maintain the power balance of the power system were procured from Finland, other Nordic countries, Estonia and Russia. The availability of reserves was good, with the exception of the spring floods, which limited the availability of hydropower plants to reserve maintenance. Consumption is increasingly active in participating in the frequency containment reserve for disturbances. Sales of frequency-controlled reserves to Sweden grew compared to the previous year. In accordance with the agreement between the Nordic TSOs, hours for maintaining the automatic frequency-regulating reserve were added, and the procurement costs for the reserve type correspondingly increased compared to the previous year.

The volume of transmission losses in the grid remained at the level of the previous year, 1.3 (1.2) terawatt hours. This was 1.5 (1.3) per cent of the total volume of transmitted electricity. The annual variation of losses is affected by the Nordic electricity production situation, such as the volume of hydropower.


Power system operation

2019 2018 2017 2016 2015

Electricity consumption in Finland, TWh

86.1 87.4 85.5 85.1 82.5

Fingrids transmission volume, TWh

68.7 68.6 66.2 68.5 67.9

Fingrid's loss power volume, TWh, G4-EU12

1,335 1.2 1.2 1.3 1.4

Electricity transmission Finland–Sweden


Exports to Sweden, TWh

0.5 1 0.4 0.3 0.2

Imports from Sweden, TWh

16.3 14.5 15.6 15.7 17.8

Electricity transmission Finland–Estonia


Exports to Estonia, TWh

3.8 2.4 1.7 3.1 5

Imports from Estonia, TWh

0.3 0.9 0.9 0.7 0.05

Electricity transmission Finland–Russia


Exports to Russia, TWh

0 0 0 0 0.02

Imports from Russia, TWh

7.5 7.9 5.8 5.9 3.9

Electricity transmission Finland–Norway


Exports to Norway, TWh

0.1 0.1   0.1 0.1

Imports from Norway, TWh

0.2 0.2 0.3 0.2 0.1

Regional JÄÄTYVÄ 2019 exercises proved the value of joint co-operation

Regional JÄÄTYVÄ 2019 exercises proved the value of joint co-operation

The Power and District Heat Pool is a voluntary co-operation forum for public authorities and energy industry operators. The purpose of the pool is to promote preparedness for various emergency scenarios. It has over the last few years organised regional Jäätyvä exercises, in which Fingrid has been active both as an organiser and participant. The exercises test the municipalities’, energy companies’ and other businesses’ capabilities to endure a two-week local blackout scenario.

The Jäätyvä exercises have made it clear that joint co-operation between the various industry players must be exercised regularly. It is also essential to make sure that all critical infrastructure operators use compatible communications and situational awareness systems. The systems exist, but it takes time before all the players critical to the functioning of society adopt them for day-to-day use.

It is a challenge for the entire society to plan how regional voice communication can be secured in an extended blackout scenario. Currently, the back-up power available at mobile base stations is sufficient to maintain operation for no more than a few hours.

Making CO2 emissions from electricity production visible

Making CO2 emissions from electricity production visible

Global climate agreements are steering nations to find ways to minimise carbon dioxide emissions. The volume of carbon dioxide emitted by electricity production is a figure that interests many parties.

We started publishing real-time CO2 emission data from electricity production in autumn 2019. Our real-time CO2 calculation accounts for the emissions both from the electricity generated and electricity consumed in Finland. Our figures offer an indicative estimate of the environmental impacts from the produced and consumed electricity. The calculation is based on the data from Fingrid’s operation control systems and the specified emissions factors.