Storm causes short-lived negative electricity prices

Electricity markets in Finland made history early Monday when prices dipped into negative numbers. According to data from power exchange Nord Pool, between midnight Sunday and 4am on Monday, electricity prices in Finland fell into negative territory.

Prices bottomed out between 2am and 3am on Monday, when they fell to minus 20 cents per megawatt hour.

Antti Paananen, head of markets with the Finnish Energy Authority, said that there was one simple reason for the unusual situation.

“Output was greater than consumption,” he commented.

Wind energy output received a boost from storm winds blowing in from the Atlantic Ocean. At the same time electricity consumption has been minimal due to the unseasonably mild conditions. In addition, an ongoing strike by workers in the paper industry has also lowered consumption.

Paananen noted that while electricity prices have fallen to negative lows in Denmark and Germany on many occasions in the past, it is the first time this has happened in Finland.

A similar price drop in Denmark saw electricity prices fall as low as minus 2.68 euros in the early hours of Monday morning.