This week, trade unions are organizing political strikes that primarily target electricity and heating plants. According to the energy company The waterfall electricity market expertise Peter Strandberg, these strikes in the midst of the freezing season might lead to significant difficulties for electricity and heat production. 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.
In addition to the national 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.
While concerns for these effects are not currently very high, the market estimates that the VAT-free spot price of electricity will remain at around 55-70 euros per megawatt hour between Wednesday and Friday. However, as CEO Jukka Leskelä points out, 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 quite big risks as they cannot predict electricity consumption, production, import or wind power situation when issuing strike notices. Despite this criticism, he acknowledges that it is understandable that workers want better working conditions and fair wages. He urges both sides to find a mutually beneficial solution before striking takes place.