As of Sunday, Russian electricity no longer enters the European market
From Sunday, May 22, electricity imports from Russia to the Baltic States and Finland have been suspended. Trade has stopped at the Russian-Latvian, Kaliningrad-Lithuanian and Russian-Finnish borders, through which Russian electricity imports have taken place so far.
"This means that Russian electricity no longer enters not only the Baltic States, but also the entire European electricity market. The cessation of Russian electricity imports has not affected the parallel synchronous operation of the Baltic power system with the Russian power system - the Baltic power systems are still technically connected to the Russian power system," explains JSC "Augstsprieguma tīkls" (AST) Member of the Board Gatis Junghāns.
The Russian energy company Inter RAO Latvian subsidiary has informed AST that it will no longer supply electricity from Russia due to the fact that the electricity exchange Nord Pool has suspended trading in the companies of the Inter RAO group due to settlement risks.
The suspension of imports will not affect the security of electricity supply in the Baltics, as the Baltic electricity import capacity from Russia has been limited to 300 MW since March 3rd, with a separate limit of 150 MW on the Russian-Latvian border and 150 MW on the Kaliningrad-Lithuanian border. The restrictions of the Baltic transmission system operators - Latvian JSC Augstsprieguma tīkls, Lithuanian Litgrid AB and Estonian Elering AS were set in order to reduce the potential negative impact on the security of the Baltic electricity transmission systems and stability. However, since the beginning of May, electricity imports from Russia to Latvia have not actually taken place.
In recent years, the amount of electricity imported from Russia into the Baltics has decreased and is no longer critical for the Baltic electricity supply. In 2021, Russian electricity imports to the Baltics accounted for 16% of Baltic consumption, while by May 21, 2022, electricity imports from Russia accounted for only 10% of Baltic consumption. Russian electricity can be replaced by supplies from Europe, including Baltic electricity producers.
In recent years, the Baltic electricity transmission system operators have taken significant steps to integrate the Baltic States into the European electricity system. The Baltic power system currently has four interconnections with European power systems with a total installed capacity of 2,200 MW, which corresponds to half of the maximum electricity consumption capacity in the Baltics in winter. In addition to the construction of the interconnection infrastructure, transmission system operators have integrated the Baltic electricity market into the single European electricity exchange system, thus ensuring access to the huge European electricity market.
The Baltic power system is still connected to the unified Russian power system with ten 330 kV power transmission lines. The suspension of Russian electricity imports does not affect the parallel operation of the Baltic power system with the Russian power system. Parallel work for the energy systems of all participating countries ensures the technical transit flows and balancing of electricity required for the operation of the system.
The Baltic and Polish electricity transmission system operators are currently continuing to implement an ambitious set of projects to prepare the Baltic power system for disconnection from the Russian power system and for permanent synchronization with the continental European power system in 2025.