The Prime Minister of Estonia urges both companies and residents to prepare: Russia may disconnect the country from the electricity grid

“Although Estonia has been preparing for emergency desynchronization from the Russian electricity system for several years now, temporary problems with electricity supply may still occur. It is wise to be prepared for possible power outages for everyone – both government institutions, companies and every person. I urge you to think about how to act in the event of a power outage,” said K. Kallas, quoted by arileht.delfi.ee.

“You can also find instructions on the website olevalmis.ee, Let’s keep calm and support each other in difficult times. Together we will overcome difficult times,” Kall added.

The Prime Minister of Estonia did not specify how real the risk of disruptions is, when they may occur and how long they may last.

Energy expert and Eesti Energia board member Einar Kisel told Ärileh that Elering should comment on the situation.

According to him, such a possibility has been in the air for several years. “Technically, we should be ready for it. I believe everything is under control,” he said.

In March of this year, the head of Elering Veskimagis said at an energy conference that Elering can synchronize the electricity system of the Baltic countries with the system of continental Europe within a few hours. “This is our main scenario. Why don’t we actively do this? Some of the necessary pieces are not ready,” he said at the time.

A sudden disconnection of the electricity system of the Baltic countries from Russia can disconnect 1 billion euros

Taavi Veskimagis, CEO of Estonian state transmission grid operator Elering, stated at a press conference on Friday that if the Baltic electricity system were suddenly disconnected from the Russian system, 8.5 terawatt hours of gas would be needed to power power plants, and at current market prices, this amount of gas would be separated 1-1 .5 billion euros.

Unlike the centralized Russian system, the continental European power grid system operates in a decentralized manner, which means that each system operator must be able to independently manage its system as a “separate island”, T. Veskimagis said.

“In our case, it’s simply more expensive. It’s much more expensive precisely because we have to run the same plants – for example, gas-fired plants that otherwise wouldn’t fit in the market,” he said.

According to known information, the isolated energy system of the Baltic States would need an additional 8.5 terawatt hours of gas in addition to the normal load in order to operate gas-fired power plants in Latvia and Lithuania.

This amount of gas would cost 1-1.5 billion. euros.

“It would be an additional cost burden. This is not a small amount of money from the consumer’s point of view, so that it is possible to simply increase this amount and take this step,” said T. Veskimagis.

The second aspect why it would be difficult to disconnect from the Russian system earlier than 2025 is the infrastructure capacity of the host country – Poland.

“There was also a discussion about why we do not build connections, for example, a connection from here to northern Sweden, or a connection with Finland,” said T. Veskimagis and emphasized that there must always be another country that is also ready for a connection.

According to him, Poland bases its actions on the deadline of 2025 when planning and implementing electricity system upgrades.

“However, they understand that the risk is very high for us. That even under these circumstances, when they are also not finally prepared, they are determined to take this step if Russia takes a hostile step towards us. But it’s certainly not easy or cheap for anyone today,” added the Elering executive.

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