May 16 -- Following Thursday’s report that Russia threatened to cut the flow of gas to Finland, Russia—through its entity RAO, will suspend imports of electricity to Finland as of 1:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 14, Fingrid said on Friday in a statement on its website.
The Finnish transmission system operator, Fingrid, claims that the security of Finland’s power supply is not under threat, with 10% of its electricity consumption imported from Russia. Reima Paivinen, Senior VP of Power System Operations at Fingrid, said that whatever electricity is typically imported from Russia “will be compensated by importing more electricity from Sweden and by generating more electricity in Finland.”
Finland has taken steps towards greater self-sufficiency with its electricity generation, with the amount it produces itself increasing every year, according to Fingrid. Another 2000 MW of electricity generation capacity is expected to come online this year, with self-sufficiency achieved next year.
But natural gas flows from Russia to Finland too. And yesterday, Russia warned Finland that there would be retaliation for Finland applying for NATO membership. Local news outlet Iltalehti has stated that Finland would be cut off from Russia’s gas supply as of May 24th, when its next payment to Gazprom comes due. Finland has refused to pay in rubles as Putin has demanded.
Between 60% and 70% of Finland’s natural gas comes from Russia, though the country’s main sources of energy are oil, biomass, and nuclear power. Natural gas represents only 5% of the total consumption. According to the Finnish government, renewable energy surpassed fossil fuels and peat in total energy consumption in 2020, leaving the country less dependent on Russian energy sources.
On Thursday, Finland announced their intention to apply for fast-tracked NATO membership due to Russian aggression in Ukraine. Sweden is expected to make its announcement in the coming days, according to the Associated Press.