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Finland may resort to rolling blackouts this winter

Due to the energy crisis in Europe, Finland may have to limit household electricity supply in order to avoid shortages.

It is a good idea for households to be prepared for pre-planned power outages, even if they are unlikely. Image: Henrietta Hassinen / Yle

Finland may have to resort to rotating outages next winter as a result of the energy crisis in Europe.

In 2021, electricity prices spiked, and the war in Ukraine has further disrupted the energy market.

"Electricity availability depends largely on weather conditions and power generation. It can be hard to predict in the long run. For instance, we don't know if it will be a cold or mild winter," according to Päivi Suur-Uski, an energy efficiency expert from the firm Motiva.

Households would be informed in advance of pre-planned power outages, which would likely last between 30 minutes and two hours. Suur-Uski said the blackouts would be targeted alternately to different areas, so consumption would not peak when supplies are short. A blackout in the capital region, for example, would always affect a limited area.

"In Finland, regions vary greatly in terms of population and electricity consumption. Power cuts are likely to have a bigger impact in densely populated areas," Suur-Uski said.

Stock up on water, food and a light source

It is a good idea for households to be prepared for pre-planned power outages, even if they are unlikely.

Suur-Uski said having water, food, and a reliable light source at home in case of a power outage is advisable. Having power cut for a couple of hours should not cause damage to a home. A short outage, for instance, will not allow the freezer to defrost or a home's temperature to drop much.

"Devices can almost certainly be charged for the two hours that a planned power outage might last," Suur-Uski pointed out.

However, it is important for households to always be prepared for unexpected power outages as well, Suur-Uski said.