Lithuania: new links cut electricity costs to Baltics

Market prices of electricity fell by 13% in 2015 as a direct result of new energy links and increased competition, Lithuanian electricity transmission system operator, Litgrid, said January 4. 

"In 2016, the average price for electricity in the Lithuanian bidding area of Nord Pool was the lowest in the history of the exchange: €36.5 per megawatt hour (MWh). The price was 13% lower compared to 2015 and 25% lower than in 2014 and 2013," the release from Litgrid said.

"The impact of NordBalt and LitPol Link, the new power links, exceeded our expectations. Lithuania and Latvia are the only countries in the Baltic-Nordic region where the average market price for electricity has dropped last year," Litgrid said.

"The new links enabled us to diversify the sources of electricity import, and we have been benefiting from this from the first days of the links’ operation. Apart from opening the way to Europe, they have changed the behavior of players in the electricity market. The year 2016 has shown that now we are dependent on events and trends in Poland and Sweden, and local producers have to learn to compete under the new conditions," said Daivis Virbickas, CEO of Litgrid.

In 2016, the availability of the LitPol Link was 96%, and that of NordBalt 78% (time per year). The loading of cross-border links connecting Latvia and Estonia, the insufficient capacity of which had influenced the price difference was reduced by one quarter compared to 2015.

According to Virbickas, the first year of operation of the power links was very important to the Baltic States, Poland and Sweden.

"During the first six months of the year when the prices in Poland were higher than those in our bidding area, the electricity flow to Poland prevailed in LitPol Link. In the early autumn, when generation at hydropower plants in the Nordic dropped considerably, Sweden started using NordBalt as a source of import," he said.

If you would like to see how the new links are working you can actually do so in real time at Litgrid's website HERE.

In addition you can read an overview of the NordBalt energy link HERE and the LitPol link HERE

 

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