On 21–22 August, the Nordic Electricity Market Forum (the annual event of the Nordic Electricity Market Group) took place in Copenhagen, gathering 90+ stakeholders from the Nordic electricity market community. Everyone was represented – the producers, consumers, exchanges, TSOs, regulators, and ministries in the Nordic region. The participants explored lessons learned from emergency market intervention measures to tackle high energy prices in the winter of 2022/2023. Drawing from these experiences, the participants discussed future needs and proposed actions for developing the Nordic/European power markets to be better fit to tackle next possible energy shocks.

Karen Ellemann, Secretary General of the Nordic Council of Ministers, opened the forum. She addressed how the Nordic electricity market model is not only financially effective, but that is also strengthens collaboration and understanding between stakeholders and the authorities. This collaboration across the sector independent of national borders, where the Electricity Market Group works as an important facilitator for dialogue, shows that the Nordic co-operation is intact and more important than ever.

Therefore, Ellemann expressed grand expectations on the outcome of the Nordic Electricity Market Forum 2023, which will form a strong basis for the discussions and decisions to be made at the Nordic Energy Ministerial Meeting on 19 October in Reykjavík.

Karen Ellemann opened the Nordic Electricity Market Forum 2023 in Copenhagen.

A Nordic/European dimension

The Nordic electricity market model has become a model for the integration and development of the European electricity market – and at the forum, a Nordic/European dimension was provided by keynote speakers Michael Pollitt, Academic Co-Director of the Centre on Regulation in Europe (CERRE) and Professor at University of Cambridge, and Leonardo Meeus, Professor at the European University Institute and Director of the Florence School of Regulation.

Their presentations dealt with issues such as the energy market design of tomorrow in relation to electricity prices and flexible power systems, as well as affordable renewables and investment mechanisms.

Access Michael Pollitt’s presentation here

Access Leonardo Meeus’ presentation here

Need for flexibility, investments, and trust

After the inspiring talks by Pollitt and Meeus, the forum participants engaged in an interactive session in the form of focused dialogue in thematic groups. According to the group leaders, the discussions were very productive, with many concrete suggestions and interesting remarks.

For example, the group members agreed on the need for flexibility among all kinds of actors in order to cater for prospective energy emergencies. They did also agree on the need for investments in not just wind and other renewables, but firm capacity too, demand flexibility has also a role to play in future shocks. Furthermore, there was agreement on the need to regain trust in the electricity sector and some drew parallels to financial markets – as financial markets are more mature, lessons learned from their crises are valuable for understanding electricity markets better.

Forming a basis for decision making

The second day of the forum began with a welcoming speech by Lars Aagaard, Danish Minister of Climate, Energy, and Utilities at Folketinget. Among other things, Aagaard highlighted the importance of local support for renewables, the possibilities of expanding electricity infrastructure, and the challenges of coordinating the progress with the rest of Europe. He also emphasised Danish ambition for collaborative investment in offshore wind. When pursuing these ambitions, the Nordic Electricity Market Forum offers well-needed advice.

Lars Aagaard, Minister of Climate, Energy, and Utilities at Folketinget.

The significance of the forum was similarly emphasized by Liv Kari Eskeland, spokesperson for energy at the Nordic Council and a member of the Norwegian Stortinget, who was grateful for everyone taking part in the forum.

“The valuable input from the Nordic Electricity Market Forum creates a basis for politicians to make decisions. The parliamentarians are very aware of the energy issue and the need for solutions, and as the Minister, Lars Aagaard, said, we need your support in this situation,” said Eskeland.

After two days of lively discussions, Andrea Stengel, Senior Adviser at Nordic Energy Research, summarized the takeaways from the forum. Although the discussion groups were assigned different themes, there was considerable overlap in the suggested solutions.

Andrea Stengel, Liv Kari Eskeland, and Ane Hammer Langhelle.

Ane Hammer Langhelle, Chair of the Electricity Market Group, was pleased with the results reached during the forum.

“I am happy to see so many people from the energy sector coming to discuss such important issues,” said Langhelle.

Next, the Electricity Market Group will take a deep look at the material produced at the forum and give a briefing of the output to the Ministerial Meeting in October.