Nearly half of all saunas in Finland are powered by electricty, Source: Unsplash

Energy company to Finns: Use sauna when windy for cheaper electricity

Energy company to Finns: Use sauna when windy for cheaper electricity

More wind means more power production from turbines, so the goal is to match peak demand with peak supply

A Finnish energy supplier has issued some advice to consumers regarding electricity in the upcoming months, the most among which is the recommendation to schedule electrical consumption to times of the day when it is most windy.

While this may initially raise some eyebrows, there is a perfectly logical explanation behind this proposal.

If consumers targeted their electricity consumption during windy hours, it would reduce the risk of electricity shortages. In addition, it would bring relief to the high prices of the electricity market before long,” clarified Mikael Mäkelä, energy manager of Vaasan Sähkö, the company in question.

The price of electricity fluctuates like the wind itself

According to the calculation, the market price of electricity can even be well over 300 percent more expensive in low-wind hours compared to windy hours.

Wind power is the cheapest way to produce electricity in terms of its production form, which is why the wholesale price of electricity in windy weather is typically cheaper than average.

And this being Finland, Vaasan Sähkö dressed the advice using an example that would be immediately understandable to locals – sauna usage.

The energy price calculation used a hobby that is practically sacred to Finns. There are an estimated 3.2 million saunas in Finland, of which 1.5 million were assumed to be electrically powered. If the use of all-electric saunas were scheduled for windy hours, it would save money. Then the energy needed for an hour's sauna would cost around 1.6 million euros less than in calm weather.

The reason is that when the wind picks up so does power production and this allows energy suppliers to purchase electricity at lower prices based on supply-demand logic.

In Finland, wind power capacity is estimated to be in full production by the end of 2022 at 5,000 megawatts. That, however, is only about a third of the amount of electricity that Finns consume during the cold months.



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