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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Tuesday, 19.01.2021, 22:54

Estonia's security of electricity supply guaranteed until 2030

BC, Tallinn, 04.12.2020.Print version
The security of electricity supply for Estonian consumers on the market basis is ensured at least until 2030, both according to the European electricity system sufficiency survey as well as surveys commissioned by the Estonian transmission system operator Elering, writes LETA/BNS.

Taavi Veskimagi, CEO Elering, said that thus, according to present knowledge, the introduction of additional charges for consumers to support electricity producers similar to the renewable energy charges is not justified. 

According to the findings of the Europe-wide analysis, Europe will have over 800 gigawatts of installed electricity production capacity in 2030, as compared with peak winter consumption measuring less than 700 gigawatts. Estonia meanwhile will have external connections for approximately 2,500 megawatts, compared with a peak consumption of roughly 1,700 megawatts.

Also the dependability of Elering's power grid has been good at approximately 99.9 percent in  the past decade. 

It appears from a joint analysis by all system operators of Europe that a situation may emerge in Estonia where consumption will not be met during 0.8 hours and to the extent of 0.14 gigawatt-hours on the average per year. 

This is significantly less that the recommended standard of security of supply of nine hours in the case of Estonia, for the duration of which partial lowering of consumption based on market prices is cheaper for the society than the establishment of new generating capacities.

A survey commissioned by Elering from Tallinn University of Technology showed the potential volume of controllable consumption in Estonia to be from 200 to 400 megawatts depending on season, which is several times more than the flexibility required for balancing off production and consumption in each hour of operation of the system. 

The CEO said that alongside system sufficiency, Elering is looking at crisis scenarios, the most likely of which might be the non-scheduled separation of the Baltic countries from the Russian electricity system. 

He said that for a situation like this Estonia needs 1,000 megawatts of installed capacity to operate the system reliably in potential crises with the TSOs of Latvia and Lithuania. "According to the data submitted by Estonian electricity producers, such amount of capacity will continue to be available in Estonia also in 2030," Veskimagi said. 

In addition to the sufficiency of production capacities and cross-border transmission capacities, Elering in its assessment of the security of supply also analyzes the sufficiency of the electricity transmission network, reliability of the network and the situation regarding cyber security.

Elering has been developing the Estonian transmission system rapidly in the past decade. The focus until the end of 2025 will be on the decoupling from the electricity system of Russia and joining the electricity system of Continental Europe.

Projects of the transmission grid stand to get almost 300 million euros in investments. Following the implementation of the synchronization and other network development projects, the total length of the Estonian transmission grid may decline by approximately 800 kilometers.

According to Veskimagi, wind power plants are playing an increasing role in ensuring the security of supply. Hence, the establishment of the Baltic Sea offshore grid is emerging as a second important priority in developing the network alongside synchronization. Such grid will enable more connections with other countries and simultaneously allow offshore power plants to link up to the network. 

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