Investments in renewable energy affect the stability of the national energy system

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By Constantin Radut
This year’s winter demonstrates how damaging was the unrestricted encouragement of investors in renewable energy and the neglect of other energy sectors.
From the pockets of consumers, through green certificates, in the wind power and photovoltaic power were built over 5,000 MW of installed power. What do we do with this power installed if the wind does not beat or the sun does not shine? We import energy from neighbors. This winter Romania was the leader in the imports of electricity.
Instead, nothing has been invested in the thermoelectric plants. In the big hydropower plants, the modernization investments were at the limit of the damage.
It is to be welcomed, in this context, the document released today by the National Commission for Strategy and Prognosis (CNSP).
In a specialized study, the institution published a draft Government Decision for the approval of the Fundamental Study for the hydroelectric power station with Tarniţa – Lăpuşteşti pumping storage.
“The National Commission for Strategy and Prognosis will have all necessary measures, in accordance with the legal provisions in force, to initiate and go through the procedure of awarding the public-private partnership contract (PPP) for the Tarniţa – Lăpuşteşti Pump Station Hydroelectric Power Plant, says the text of the proposed normative act.
In the substantiation study, CNSP estimates that the investment will amount to one billion euros for a capacity of 1,000 MW, and the PPP contract period will be 30 years, of which five years of financial closure, design and execution.
“By building the two new nuclear groups and maintaining an increasing trend of production capacities from intermittent renewable sources, the construction of a large capacity pumping storage is mandatory for the stability of the power system,” CNSP representatives quote, citing the National Energy Strategy 2018 – 2030, a document that remained only in the project stage.
CNSP shows that, due to the strong increase in investments in wind and solar power plants in recent years, and because coal groups can not respond quickly to intermittent wind and solar radiation, it is necessary to pump pumped hydropower stations that can be switched on and off quickly .
“In Europe, there is virtually no country that, having favorable geophysical conditions, has not built at least one pumping station at TSO’s disposal for the safety of its own power system, including its neighbors: Serbia, Bulgaria and Ukraine, who technically lost about 20 to 25 years in the field of electricity storage, “the CNSP study said.
At the same time, according to the substantiation note, of the total gross power available in the power system, of about 24,500 MW, 3,000 MW are non-discernable.
The technical evolution of the energy sector in Romania could be challenged in the medium and long term because the electricity market is deficient in terms of infrastructure, with no capacity to store electricity, just like the natural gas market. It is therefore necessary to achieve a storage capacity of about 1,000 MW in CHEAP Tarniţa – Lăpuşteşti that can intervene in balancing the system for durations ranging from 4 to 6 hours, according to the quoted source.

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