Vassi Kujala has been our Market Manager Finland for just over three years and the job still excites him.
“There isn’t a day with Nord Pool that doesn’t involve playing a part in crafting the future of power markets and exploring the changing demands of trading, with our customers. My original interest in power started at university - even then it was clear that energy would play a key role in the transition to a more sustainable future.
“My career in the sector has taken me from the regulated distribution business, to competitive sales in consumer electricity sales, to the world of wholesale power markets. I’ve accumulated a broad understanding of the business which is really helpful when talking to our customers – I speak their language and understand their needs.”
Dealing with our Nordic customers, is, Vassi says, one of the highlights of his role: “Our customers are the best part of this job. The scale of Nord Pool’s customer base - varying from big industrial companies and utilities to pure traders or service providers – gives both a great opportunity to learn and to solve challenges. Talking with, and listening to, customers provides me with a unique insight and understanding of their business, which enables me to see how Nord Pool can help. We work very hard to support our customers, not least by defining what the future power market should look like, how it should perform and how we can achieve that goal together.
“As a result, I see that Nord Pool is considered to be a trusted champion of customer interests and a partner looking after their needs.”
But in a changing energy world, it is not all plain sailing. “Mitigating the impact of the rapidly changing power market on our customers’ business is a key focus area. The rapid rise of renewables, as needed and welcome as that may be, puts pressure on the centrally-designed power system in ways that can force the introduction of short-sighted solutions. But those solutions may not make our customers’ lives any easier. Providing solutions and services that combine the needs of the environment, the demands of transmission system operators and the requirements of power market participants is a challenge we confront every day.”
Keeping our promises
Does the launch of the Nordic MNA herald fundamental change to the region? Vassi is philosophical: “The need for us to fulfil our promises and keep providing our customers with working trading platforms and related services, plus a superb customer service experience whenever they reach out to us, certainly won’t change. The license to exist needs to be earned every single day. What our customers want and what we want to provide them with is the ability to focus on what they do best, which is trading power via Nord Pool.
“On the practical side we will still deliver the simple, efficient and secure trading through a robust and reliable platform, that we have done since the 1990s. Nord Pool customers can continue to trade the same liquid, transparent markets they do today and we will carry on publishing the system price, reflecting all NEMO data applicable to the zone.
“But that doesn’t mean we take our situation in the Nordics for granted. We will strive to bring the developments to the market that we know our customers want – for example by recently piloting extended intraday trading in the last 30 minutes before delivery hour, for Finland. This has proved its worth during unexpected incidents in the power system close to delivery hour and is a true example of cross-market collaboration.
“Market competition is important, and it is something we don’t just welcome but have actually worked towards. But I think our customers, and all market participants across Europe for that matter, want to see a trusted partner in Nord Pool that they know will work with them to realise a well-functioning market, while we continue to work for a more sustainable future for generations to come. In the end we are all in this together.