Wind, nuclear and interconnectors shape Nordic power market forecasts

Source: Heren

2019/04/01

LONDON (ICIS)--Average wholesale power prices in Nordic markets will follow rising EUA prices upwards until 2023, where they will hover for the next four years, according to the ICIS Power Horizon model.

Renewable and nuclear capacities expansion from 2028 will start the Nordics, comprising Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland, on a bearish trend.

Price trends

Based on the ICIS long-term carbon price forecast, the Nordic prices will move in similar direction for the next five years, before diverging in the second half of the decade.

Forecast 2019 annual average wholesale power prices in Sweden and Norway will be around €45.00/MWh, in Finland €46.00/MWh and in Denmark around €47.00/MWh.

In 2018, prices in Nord Pool Spot were on average €45.00/MWh, €44.00/MWh, €47.00/MWh and €45.00/MWh respectively. In 2020 wholesale power prices are expected to fall by on average €1-2.00/MWh in Finland, Sweden and Norway, but not in Denmark, only to pick up next year and re-start rising in the region.

Although until 2023 the prices of all four countries are set to move in accordance, their trajectories will start diverging from 2024 onward.

In 2028, Finnish power prices are due to experience a major dip and to cause a ripple effect in the Nordics and Baltics with the launch of the Hanhikivi 1 plant.

Finnish average annual power prices are forecast to fall to around €28.00/MWh, Swedish to €33.00/MWh and Norwegian to €43.00/MWh by 2030 and end-up below the 2019 values despite an assumed 2% inflation applied to fuel prices by the Horizon model.

Drivers

There are two main drivers expected to affect Nordic prices significantly – power generation capacity and interconnector development.

As the Nordic countries are highly interconnected, significant capacity changes in one of them will impact prices across the region. The main bearish capacity drivers will be the two planned nuclear power plants in Finland and onshore/offshore wind development in other countries in the region.

The first price dip in Finland, Sweden and Norway in 2020 will be following the expected launch of the Olkiluoto 3 Nuclear Power Plant in Finland. The second major price dip in the region in 2028 will follow the expected launch of the Hanhikivi 1 Nuclear Power Plant.

According to the current base case, the Swedish and Norwegian wind capacities will see accelerated growth in the early 2020s due to CoOs support, but stagnate over the latter half of the decade.

Swedish and Norwegian prices see a dip from 2023 as the last of the wind power plants still awarded under the Certificates of Origin system (CoOs) will come online. In Finland and Denmark, where support is distributed in auctions, wind shows steady increase over the years.

In the meanwhile, according to the Swedish nuclear closure plan, a couple of plants will be decommissioned in the next two years, while others are expected to operate beyond 2030 (and well into the 2040s)

The two planned interconnectors between Norway and the UK (in 2022 and 2023) will shape commercial flows between Norway and Sweden - as the former is forecast to export power to the UK directly, and the latter via transit over Norway.

As the UK is traditionally a higher price zone, this will have a bullish effect on the prices in those two countries.

Germany is forecast to consolidate its status as net importer from the Nordics. The SydVastlanken project in the Swedish territory is expected to increase the utilisation of the Norwegian link, and contribute to the commercial exchanges between the two countries.

Norway will see a price differential between its zones due to forecast congestion of internal transmission capacities. The planned capacity increases of the Finnoskan line between Sweden and Finland is expected to be inadequate for the forecast commercial flows between the countries, thus their power prices would diverge over the second half of the 2020s.

Interested in learning more about long-term power market analysis? Register now for a free trial of ICIS Power Horizon, a pan-European power price forecast service by contacting justin.banrey@icis.com