Wholesale electricity prices in Finland hit a record high in 2021 as power consumption returned to pre-pandemic levels, the national broadcaster Yle reported on Friday.
According to sector organization Finnish Energy, in 2021 the average price of electricity in Finland was nearly 2.6 times higher than in the previous year, up from about 28 euros (32 U.S. dollars) per megawatt-hour (MWh) to 72 euros per MWh.
One of the main reasons behind the price hike was the rise in power consumption, particularly the growing industrial demand. Last year, the country’s final electricity consumption totaled 86 terawatt-hours (TWh), 6 percent more than in 2020. The industrial sector’s consumption accounted for 44 percent of the total.
Jukka Leskela, Finnish Energy’s managing director, explained to Yle that wholesale energy prices have been unprecedentedly high for a long time. This winter’s freezing temperatures could result in further price spikes, he said.
Nevertheless, Finnish Energy said that compared to other European countries, electricity prices remain affordable for consumers in Finland.
A household consuming between 2,500 kilowatt-hours (kWh) and 5,000 kWh of electricity a year paid about 17 eurocents per kWh in the first half of 2021 in Finland.
Germany had the highest electricity prices and Hungary the lowest among the 27 European Union (EU) member states. Households in Germany paid about 30 eurocents per kWh, three times more than in Hungary.
According to Finnish Energy, renewable energy helped cover half of the increase in electricity consumption in Finland in 2021, with a continuous drop of electricity generation from coal, while imports covered the other half.
Electricity prices in Finland could continue to increase in 2022, Yle said.