Reader ‘s opinion Energy companies want to promote their customers’ own electricity generation

Small-scale production increases energy self-sufficiency and renewable electricity production, and encourages citizens to be active in the electricity market.

Tatu Leskinen wrote (HS Opinion 18.11.)that energy companies are holding back the spread of small-scale electricity generation. I have worked in the energy industry for over ten years to promote small-scale production, and I strongly disagree.

Already in 2009, energy companies in their vision made small-scale production an important part of carbon-neutral electricity generation. Small-scale production increases energy self-sufficiency and renewable electricity production, and encourages citizens to be active in the electricity market. This is an advantage for the whole energy system.

Leskinen suggested that it is problematic that small-scale production cannot be “stored” in the electricity grid, but that the electricity left over from own use must be sold to the electricity market. This is not a fault in the electrical system but a feature, as electricity must be produced and consumed equally at all times.

Leskinen is right that the measurement methods of network companies differ. However, this will be remedied in the next few years with the introduction of hourly multiplication, which will eliminate differences due to the measurement method.

The reform will affect the whole of Finland with the data hub of the new centralized information exchange unit in the electricity market, but some network companies will be able to implement the hour earlier, as long as the forthcoming legislative change allows it.

The hour is the basic period of the electricity market. The hourly rate benefits a small producer and is justified from the point of view of the electricity market.

Over a period of more than an hour, netting or thinking of the electricity grid as a ‘storage’ from which electricity supplied during the day could be used free of charge at night is contrary to the basic principles of the electricity market and equal treatment of customers. The benefit of a small producer from netting for more than an hour would be paid by other electricity users in their network service charges. This would be support from other electricity users for those with sufficient wealth to invest in small-scale production.

Ina Lehto

expert, energy networks, Energy Industry Association

Reader opinions are speeches written by HS readers, selected and delivered by HS editorial. You can leave a comment or read the principles of writing at www.hs.fi/kirjtamielipidekirjoitus/.

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