Vaasa EnergyWeek: “We need more flexibility, and batteries can be the key”

Petri Parviainen
Petri Parviainen.

The supply and demand of electricity is not in sync at the moment. “Something needs to flex, and batteries are part of the solution”, says Fingrid’s Petri Parviainen.

A high-profile energy storage seminar was held on Wednesday as part of EnergyWeek. Keynote speaker Manager Petri Parviainen from the Main Grid Connection Unit at Fingrid Plc. cut right to the chase. Parviainen said that the challenge is that energy consumption can typically be described as a straight line, but production fluctuates.

“Something needs to flex, and batteries are part of the solution,” he emphasises.

Demand needs to increase as well

Last year, electricity production in the Finnish power system increased by 13 per cent. It is worth noticing that, in the same period, electricity consumption decreased by 2 per cent.

“We are likely to have a lot more wind power by the end of this decade, but that requires that the demand and consumtion also increase.”

The demand side might well be solved by increasing industrial demand. Fingrid receives many inquiries about data centres, for example.

“We also believe we will have a lot of new industries based on hydrogen.”

Flexibility needed

One of Fingrid’s main tasks is to keep a balance between electricity demand and production.

“We need more flexibility, and batteries can be the key,” explains Parviainen.

Fingrid predicts that the future of the reserve market is growing rapidly.

“There is great potential here,” Parviainen points out.

Solving problems the smart way

Petri Kärki, Vice President, Sales Europe, Hitachi Energy, Grid Automation, says that the solutions are not just about building more capacity.

“We need to do this in smart ways, and in this regard, Hitachi Energy has many solutions to offer,” Kärki states.

Kärki then brought some humour to the subject while painting a picture of the scope of the challenges. He told a story about his son asking him the question, “What is the biggest human-made construction in the world?”

“I thought this was my time to shine and confidently answered, “The Great Wall of China”. However, my son looked at me with rolling eyes and said, “No, Dad, it’s the electricity network.”


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