Russia this morning cut off the supply of natural gas to Finland, a form of retaliation both for the Scandinavian country’s request to enter NATO and for its refusal to pay for hydrocarbons in rubles, as requested by Vladimir Putin. But Finland does not seem worried and the national operator Gasum has ensured that the system is in balance “both physically and commercially”.
This is because it is an easy blow to take, as although most of the gas used in the country comes from Russia, it still represents only 5% of the nation’s annual energy consumption. Gazprom reports that it supplied 1.49 billion cubic meters of natural gas to Finland in 2021, equal to about two thirds of the country’s gas consumption. Furthermore, Helsinki has for years been engaged in a policy of decarbonisation and differentiation of energy supply sources. Last year, reports the Finnish statistical institute, the Scandinavian country consumed 86,775 Gigawatts of electricity, of which just over 20% is the result of imports from other countries.
The largest voice in electricity generation comes from nuclear power, 32%, followed by hydroelectric power with 22%, wood fuel with 17%, and wind power with 11%. In recent years, looking at the data of the International Energy Agency, the percentage of production from renewable sources has grown: energy from waste, then solar and wind power. While the consumption of coal, natural gas and oil has been decreasing for over 10 years. As for the replacement of Russian gas, an immediate alternative source will be the Balticconnector gas pipeline, the plant that connects the Scandinavian country to the nearby Estonian gas network. In addition, Finland is leasing a storage and regasification vessel from a US-based company to help replace Russian supplies starting in the fourth quarter of this year.