Greece is in a good position to meet its energy demands this coming winter, even under unfavorable conditions, without import needs for most of the season, ENTSO-E, the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity, has noted in its annual report.
The second half of December and January will be the most crucial period, the report noted, adding that RES curtailment is not expected to be needed in Greece.
Overall, the EU is ready to meet the winter’s energy demands, barring extraordinary conditions, according to the ENTSO-E report.
Temperatures 10 degrees Celsius below normal levels, combined with unanticipated capacity losses and low RES output, would create problems in Belgium and France in January, the report forecast. If so, these member states will need to depend on energy imports and possibly need to take emergency measures, it added.
Though still only autumn, the country’s grid is already beginning to feel growing pressure, as reflected by yesterday’s elevated System Marginal Price (SMP), which exceeded 90 euros per MWh. A similar trend is expected today.
The pressure being felt by the grid has been attributed to the excessive use of the country’s hydropower stations during the energy crisis last winter. Hydropower station reservoirs have yet to be refilled.
Conditions could prove difficult in the winter if weather conditions are acute and the grid is subject to any unexpected input problems.
At present, all private-sector power stations are available for grid contributions, while, as for the main power utility PPC, its Komotini and gas-fired Megalopoli V units are undergoing maintenance work, Agios Dimitrios II and V are being upgraded, and Kardia I and IV have issues.
Yesterday evening, between 7 and 9 pm, Terna’s small Heron unit was called into action for contribution to the grid. This unit had remained inactive for an extended period prior to yesterday.
Also yesterday, SMP levels were impacted by extremely elevated hydropower price levels for three hours. PPC’s Platanovrisi hydropower facility came into use last night to help cover the grid’s needs at price levels of as much as 91 euros per MWh.
Greece’s hydropower station reservoirs are currently at the second-lowest level since 2005.
Yesterday’s grid contributions also included several hours of input from the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (Fyrom) grid, at price levels of more than 70 euros per MWh.
According to forecasts, the electricity market will continue operating amid such conditions for as long as Megalopoli V is sidelined by the ongoing maintenance work.