Over the past few days, Swedish consumers have been paying only about one-fifth the price for electricity as have consumers in Finland. A rainy summer, combined with large hydroelectric plant capacity has pushed the price in Sweden lower than in decades.
Electricity market prices fluctuate, and on Friday prices in the two countries were not as far apart as earlier in the week. As of Friday, the price of a kilowatt hour of electricity in Sweden was 1.6 euro cents, in Finland around four cents.
At the moment, imports of cheaper Swedish electricity are filling a third of demand in Finland. Transfer capacity is being used to its fullest.
"There aren't enough cables," explains Pekka Salomaa of the association Finnish Energy Industries.
Since Finland is not home to the same kind of high mountain ranges as are found in Norway and Sweden, there is much less hydroelectric production.
"There is just not the same energy as in Norway where the water falls half a kilometre through numerous basins," Salomaa points out. He also notes that one reason for higher prices in Finland is that at the moment the Loviisa nuclear power plant is offline while undergoing scheduled maintenance.
Salomaa expects the price difference between Finland and Sweden to even out this autumn, with prices falling in Finland. Consumers who have chosen fixed-price contracts for supplies have probably lost money because of lower market rates this past spring and summer.
"But we don't know what will happen next year," says Salomaa.