Svenska Kraftnät is the system responsible authority responsible for the main grid in Sweden, for the transmission of electricity and for the reliability of the electricity system. They are also responsible for electricity availability, in times of crisis and or war. Svenska Kraftnät has no influence over the situation in Europe, which has driven up electricity prices in 2022. But they have far-reaching opportunities and obligations to influence the Swedish electricity system in the right direction, which is part of their mission.
In 2019, Svenska Kraftnät had the chance to build up a power reserve to secure the supply of electricity in southern Sweden. It is about the Öresund Agency, which is located a couple of kilometers from central Malmö and which could supply the entire Malmö area and then some with electricity. But the turbines stand still.
Svenska kraftnät waived the purchase of the Öresund Agency
Mikael Nilsson, director of the Öresund Agency, says that it was a combination of low electricity prices and high fixed costs that caused the owner Sydkraft Thermal Power to take the decision in 2018 to shut down operations and sell the power plant. Svenska Kraftnät approved the shutdown, despite the fact that the Öresundverket was part of the Swedish electricity emergency system from the start. But before the sale of the Öresund Agency had gone through, a new opportunity arose.
– In the meantime, Svenska Kraftnät announced at the end of, very late in 2019, a supplementary power reserve procurement. And we felt that this is a last lifeline for the Öresund Agency. But unfortunately, that procurement was canceled due to a lack of competition.
According to Svenska Kraftnät’s director general Lotta Medelius-Bredhe, the price was too high:
– We then said that this was an offer that we did not see that we wanted to take.
Could you not afford it? Or do you not want to take it?
– Yes, we thought it was an offer that we didn’t want, that was high in that context that we therefore didn’t want to take it, says Lotta Medelius-Bredhe.
In the decision that I have here, you write that the justification for the decision is a lack of competition, since only one supplier submitted a tender. There is nothing here about a cost.
– No, but, as I said, it is difficult if you have a procurement, if you receive a tender, it is difficult to assess the relevance of that cost picture.
The stated need for an extra power reserve was thus not resolved.
– No, I think it is remarkable. And is especially so when you express that the need remains, says Mikael Nilsson.
Per Wikström at the industry organization Energiföretagen agrees.
– Here you highlight a problem. Saying there is a problem. And then they didn’t solve it. And like the question is like this. Who will solve the problem? Says Per Wikström.
Assumed that the companies themselves would reduce their consumption
When Kaliber today asks how Svenska Kraftnät solved the need, the director general replies in an email: quote “It is reasonable to assume that the players who were previously prepared to disconnect themselves would likely act on price signals in the future and thus reduce the load at peak load.” end quote.
This means that Svenska Kraftnät assumed that the same industrial companies themselves would take responsibility for reducing their electricity consumption in the event of a risk of electricity shortages. In the past, these companies had agreements to do this for compensation, but today those agreements no longer exist.
One of the industrial companies Svenska Kraftnät is referring to is the paper pulp factory Rottneros Bruk. Lennart Eberleh is CEO of Rottneros AB.
– I don’t think it’s a good strategy where you hope that the big ones take responsibility. Because it is associated with losses when we shut down, because we cannot produce and deliver to our customers.
Svenska Kraftnät writes in another email that they do not expect the industrial companies to adjust their consumption to the same extent as before, when they had agreements. But that they, and other companies would still act on high prices, quote: “to what extent we cannot know.”
Receives criticism from the EU level
At the end of October, Svenska Kraftnät receives criticism from the EU level.
ACER, a cooperation organization for the EU’s supervisory authorities in the field of energy, believes in a report that Svenska Kraftnät has violated the so-called 70 percent rule, in that they have throttled the transmission in the electricity system so that it is sometimes below 70 percent.
Carl Berglöf, expert in electrical network technology at the industry organization Energiföretagen, which was the referral body in the matter.
– What ACER’s decision says is that Svenska Kraftnät does not get its exception for this 70 percent rule, and this means that Svenska Kraftnät cannot continue to limit capacity in the way it has done, but ACER believes that there are other measures to be taken.
There has been a lot of criticism of Svk in the past because they have done too little to curb the bottlenecks in the system, so does this report confirm that?
– Exactly, that’s what ACER also says, that here there are measures that Svk has been able to take, and calls on Svenska Kraftnät to work more to ensure that type of resources.
The resources that ACER believes that Svenska Kraftnät could buy up to a greater extent are, for example, consumption reduction or electricity production, with the aim of supporting the electricity system and increasing the transmission of electricity, which would also have reduced the risk of disconnection of electricity customers in southern Sweden.
In defense, Svenska Kraftnät writes on its website that it has been difficult to get hold of the resources that were needed.
Today Svenska Kraftnät’s director general Lotta Medelius-Bredhe says that she regrets the decision to cancel the procurement with the Öresund Agency.
– Yes, it is clear that it would have made it easier, all electricity production would have made it easier given the situation we have today.
Source: ICELAND NEWS