Reliable delivery of electricity
Electricity consumption will continue to increase in the future. The fight against the climate change also increases the use of electricity in, for example, traffic and heating in order to replace fossil fuels. In addition to domestic generation, a significant part of Finland’s electricity supply has been covered with electricity imports in the past few years.
The European Union launched an Energy Roadmap to suggest alternative paths towards a low-carbon future. One of the major conclusions was that while the total consumption of energy is currently falling in Europe, the consumption of electricity is still on the rise. Society is increasingly dependent on electricity and needs higher volumes of carbon-free electricity production.
How can we cater for this increased need for electricity?
Renewables (biomass, hydropower, and wind power) and combined heat and power production are not enough to fill the gap between electricity demand and production capacity during consumption peaks. Thus, the main option for covering the deficit is to increase the production of condensing power. Fuels that can be used in condensing production include peat or fossil fuels, such as coal or natural gas. The increase in condensing power can be implemented via nuclear power, which is a very good alternative when compared to peat and fossil fuels with regard to reliability of power supply, competitive production costs, and the reduction of emissions in overall comparison.
Dependence on imports must be decreased
In addition to domestic generation, a significant part of Finland’s electricity supply has been covered with electricity imports in the past few years. In 2017, imports covered around 23.9 percent of the electricity requirement in Finland. Finland is a net electricity importer in the Nordic electricity market, where the electricity supply and price depend essentially on the effect of rainfall on the hydropower balance. An adequate electricity supply must be secured as well as possible under all circumstances. Currently, a critical factor for the Finnish energy supply is its reliance on electricity imported from abroad. Our society is also dependent on having a sufficient amount of electricity available at all times and under all conditions. Finland’s national goal is to produce electricity self-sufficiently for the winter’s peak demand situation. Nuclear electricity plays a pivotal role in the meeting of these goals.