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Finland may face 2-hour power outages this winter

As Europe grapples with an energy crisis, countries are looking to find alternatives to Russian fossil fuels.

The Olkiluoto 3 nuclear reactor may be the deciding factor in Finland's energy supply this winter. Image: Esa Syväkuru / Yle

Europe is fearing a historically difficult winter as the war in Ukraine disrupts its energy supply. With the continent weaning itself off Russian fossil fuels, sourcing alternatives has proven difficult, meaning that energy regulation and restrictions may be one potential fix. As Europe prepares for the cold with energy regulation, it is possible that Finland will face similar limits.

When there is a power shortage, consumption could be reduced by local power outages of up to two hours at a time. The outages, which would be planned in advance, would be rotating. This means they are directed to local electricity networks in different parts of the country depending on supply and demand.

According to grid operator Fingrid, disconnections and blackouts are the last resort and only expected to be used in emergency situations.

Experts say that the outcome of Finland's winter is highly dependent on the Olkiluoto 3 nuclear reactor. Minister of Economic Affairs Mika Lintilä (Centre)estimated that the reactor would produce electricity at full capacity in September.

"In practice, it [the reactor] will be feeding electricity into the grid as early as the end of this month. I guess the correct term is that commercial production will start in December, but the energy will be available on the market from July. There have been rumours of government action to keep electricity prices in check," Lintilä said in regards to the reactor's energy production.