Ukrenergo’s Generation Adequacy Report: energy storage and absence of bioenergy

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On March 13th the NEURC has approved the Generation Adequacy Report developed by NPC Ukrenergo. Since the first draft, more specifically since 2017, it is the first approval of this strategic document. The Report is of recommendation nature and is based on the study of many development scenarios for the Ukrainian energy industry and economy.

The document presents the basic scenario of electricity generation capacities in Ukraine in 10-year perspective. It considers planned activities for the generation development, introduction of the demand response systems, ensuring the operational security and the analysis of disruptions in the grid’s operation.

The target scenario of the Report offers the following actions:

  • assurance of at least 12 GW of permanently available operating capacity of TPPs by 2030 through their renovation and reduction of harmful emissions
  • availability of 2 gas-oil units of 300 MW each as an additional reserve for the power system
  • maintenance of the NPP installed capacity at the existing level (13.8 GW) and launching the actions to ensure the timely replacement of the NPP power units which will be decommissioned
  • implementation of commissioning plans for HPSPP capacities (if timely commissioning is not achieved, it will be necessary to introduce energy accumulation systems to replace such capacities)
  • prevention of electricity production surplus in certain periods is possible either via a short-term limitation of RES capacity or a long-term (more than one day) limitation of NPP capacity (there is a low likelihood that surplus production can be sold by export because adjacent power systems have a very low demand too during this time).

 

Here I describe parts of the Report which have caught my attention, while you can download the full document from the Ukrenergo website.

Energy storage: great demand, but no support

According to Urkenergo, Ukrainian energy grid today does not comply with requirements of adequacy of the generation capacities. With continuing rise of solar and wind, the issues with operational security will become more urgent. The solution can come from 2 GW of new high-maneuver capacities having the control range of at least 80 per cent of the installed capacity and capable of supporting the startup and stoppage up to 8 times a day with the time to reach the rated capacity not exceeding 15 minutes. They should be supplemented by at least 2 GW of energy storage. These capacities will give the grid an opportunity to create enough reserves to safely function until 2030.

But in order to commission these capacities fast enough, Ukraine has to adapt changes to the legislation. At the moment, as we have mentioned in our previous posts, two bills are under discussion in Verkhovna Rada, which are designed to regulate the use of energy storage. They introduce the definition of energy storage and their operators, set the requirements to licensing of such systems, and describe the auction procedures for their implementation. 

According to Maksym Sysoiev, Counsel at Dentons, these legislative acts require further revisions and compromise among the stakeholders; thus, as members of the special committee agreed, approval of the final Draft Law would take some time.  

No faith in bioenergy?

The basic scenario foresees at least 12 GW of permanently available operating capacity of TPPs by 2030 through their renovation and reduction of harmful emissions. Additionally,  maintenance of the NPP installed capacity at the existing level (13.8 GW) and launching the actions to ensure the timely replacement of the NPP power units which will be decommissioned

The issue here is that by 2030 most of Ukrainian nuclear reactors and TPPs will exceed their already extended operational life. So starting from 2025 electricity grid will not be compliant with the adequacy requirements.

To ensure enough base capacity, Ukrenergo recommends, among other things, supporting an investment attractiveness of the traditional generation, demand response and other types of state support.

At the same time, Ukraine has yet to open another resource, which would allow us to generate electricity, while solving many economic and environmental problems. These are agricultural, wood industry, and municipal waste, and we can use them to generate electricity at the bioenergy facilities.

With adequate state support in place, new biomass and biogas capacities will supply Ukrainian energy grid with base and maneuver kilowatt-hours. Considering the resource potential, we can develop hundreds and thousands of megawatts. They will partially replace dirty and obsolete traditional capacities, ensure energy independence, and lower country’s emissions into the atmosphere.

However, the Transmission system operator in its Recommendations (page 82 of the Report) does not mentions bioenergy as one of the solutions for the Ukrainian energy grid problems. It seems odd, because this sector can, among other benefits, bring the country closer to implementation of the national Energy Strategy and foster its transition to the sustainable energy system.