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Published: 10 March 2022

Monthly price of Nordic electricity rose record high in the last quarter of 2021

In the last quarter of 2021, energy prices rose clearly. The system price of Nordic electricity on the exchange and the area price for Finland broke the previous records clearly. The prices of imported fossil fuels rose to a new level, led by natural gas. The price of domestic forest chippings also rose.

Average monthly spot prices at the Nord Pool Spot power exchange

Average monthly spot prices at the Nord Pool Spot power exchange

The world market price of crude oil remained high in the last quarter of 2021. This was also reflected in the consumer prices of liquid fuels. In December, the price of motor gasoline was 27 per cent and diesel oil 28 per cent higher than one year earlier. The tax on light fuel oil used for heating was raised at the beginning of the year, so its price increase was as much as 44 per cent in the corresponding period.

Fossil coal and natural gas are imported to Finland mainly for use in energy production. The price of coal has been growing steeply since summer. In December, the tax-free price was nearly triple and the price including excise duty was 48 per cent higher than one year previously. Comparable data on the prices of natural gas start from the beginning of 2021, but they show a clear trend of a sharp rise in prices. The tax-free price of natural gas for power plant users has even quadrupled and the price including excise duty has nearly tripled over the course of 2021.

The price of forest chippings has also been on the rise, although its change has not been as sharp as that of imported fuels. In the fourth quarter, the price of forest chippings went up by eight per cent from one year back.

Towards the end of the last quarter, the prices of the Nordic power exchange rose exceptionally high. The monthly average for the system price and Finland's area price has never before risen to over EUR 100 per megawatt hour (EUR/MWh), but in December the system price was EUR 147 per MWh and the area price for Finland EUR 193 per MWh. The change is steep compared with the exceptionally low prices in 2020, when the system price was at its lowest EUR two per MWh and the area price for Finland EUR 20 per MWh.

There were several reasons for the dramatic rise in the exchange price of electricity. In addition to higher prices of fuels and emission rights, at the same time Nordic water reserves were low and less wind power than usual was available. Electricity consumption was, in turn, boosted by the very cold December and economic activity, which has been growing after the worst shock caused by the coronavirus.

For electricity users, changes in wholesale prices are visible with a delay. For consumers, prices were 11 to 15 per cent higher in the last quarter than twelve months earlier. The prices for enterprise and corporate clients react faster to market changes. In December, the prices of the smallest users were 22 per cent higher and those of the largest users 125 per cent higher than in December 2020.

The price of milled peat not published due to too few observations.

Source: Statistics Finland, Energy prices

Inquiries: Ville Maljanen 029 551 2691,

Head of Department in charge: Katri Kaaja

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Updated 10.03.2022

Referencing instructions:

Statistics: Energy prices [e-publication].
ISSN=1799-800X. 4th quarter 2021. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 3.3.2024].
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