German Price Gap to Widen on Nordic Export Boost, SKM Says

Nordic power’s discount to German prices will widen as increasing renewable energy and nuclear output boost the region’s power glut, triggering higher exports, SKM Market Predictor AS said.

Nordic power prices for baseload delivery are likely to average about 46 euros ($60) a megawatt-hour from 2018 through 2022, about 6 euros less than comparable German prices, the Trondheim, Norway-based power analysts said today in a report commissioned by Finland’s Economy Ministry. That differential may double in 2023-2027, SKM’s figures show.

Renewable energy expansion and nuclear capacity upgrades are likely to contribute to an increase in future oversupply in Nordic electricity, according to SKM. Germany, meanwhile, is replacing 17 nuclear reactors that supplied about a fifth of its power with new solar, wind and coal capacity following the 2011 nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Japan.

“The price spread between the regions will grow, compounding the need for exports from north to south, especially after Germany phases out nuclear reactors in 2022,” Juha Turkki, senior analyst at SKM Market Predictor said today by phone from Helsinki. “The Nordic region will ship out increasing power volumes, mainly to Germany.”

Export Surge

Nordic power exports may total 9.7 terawatt-hours in 2015, or 2.4 percent of the region’s power output, and rise to 21.7 terawatt-hours in 2020 and 42.9 terawatt-hours by 2025, according to the study.

The Nordic countries will add 20 terawatt-hours of nuclear output by 2020 from Finland’s 1,600-megawatt Olkiluoto-3 nuclear unit and capacity upgrades at Sweden’s 10 reactors. Production from wind and solar is poised to more than double from 12.5 terawatt-hours in 2010 to 28.8 terawatt-hours by 2015, and further to 48 terawatt-hours by 2020, SKM said.

Planned nuclear reactors will help cut Finland’s dependence on imports, resulting in net annual exports by 2025, Turkki wrote in the report. Three new nuclear plants and growing wind power penetration may see annual Finnish power supply increase by 40 terawatt-hours through 2025 from last year’s 70 terawatt- hours, ridding the country of its need to buy 16 percent of electricity from abroad, the analysts wrote.

Finland imported as much as 13.9 terawatt-hours last year, of which 78 percent from Russia, according to data from the country’s Energy Industries association.

To contact the reporter on this story: Torsten Fagerholm in Helsinki at tfagerholm@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Lars Paulsson at lpaulsson@bloomberg.net

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