The recent public warning of the Independent Power Transmission Authority-IPTO about the threat of a blackout in the electricity system caused an alarm in the Regulatory Authority for Energy’s Crisis Management Team.

According to information, the president and CEO Manos Manousakis has also sent a related letter to the Regulator with milder tones, describing the new risk to the stability of the country’s electricity supply system

Black out

The new risk of blackouts has nothing to do with a lack of sufficient electricity, i.e. reduced production.

The opposite is true. It comes from the low consumption and overproduction of amounts of electricity. The latter comes from the abundance of Renewable Energy Sources.

Based on the operating rules of the wholesale electricity market, when there are offers from RES systems (wind and photovoltaic) for inclusion in the electricity system, they also have priority in daily production, over thermal units (natural gas and lignite plants). In recent months, a surplus of electricity generation from renewable energy sources has been observed.

So the thermal units have no space in the grid. Those that enter operate at technical minimum production limits, while there are also units that remain switched off.

At the same time, however, demand due to the crisis is low, while the fact that RES may not be available for power generation at some times during the day creates conditions of instability in the electricity system.

RES are characterized by the so-called “reflectiveness”. That is, a sudden cloud cover or a sudden drop in the winds put photovoltaic and wind farms out of operation, respectively, resulting in a loss of electricity production.

A thermal unit to operate and cover the gap needs at least one hour.

Load cuts

IPTO, as Vice President Yiannis Margaris recently announced, is forced to proceed with manipulations to prevent a blackout.

These manipulations include cutting loads from RES units.

However, the ones that the Administrator can cut are from high voltage units. A large majority of the green energy, however, comes from scattered RES in the distribution network, where the Hellenic Electricity Distribution Network Operator is not able to proceed with corresponding operations.

During Easter

Everyone’s concern about a danger in the electricity supply is focused on the Easter holidays.

According to sources, Easter Sunday and Monday are traditionally characterized by low electricity demand.

So the possibility of causing instability in the system is increased.

The Crisis Management Team

Tomorrow, the president of the Crisis Management Group, Dimitris Fourlaris, is calling an emergency meeting of its members in order to examine the situation.

Also according to information, RAE is expected to call IPTO for explanations after the public position of the vice-president of the Administrator Yiannis Margaris.

However, IPTO points out that tools are needed to be able to manage the situation. One of them is the establishment of the consent of RES producers for load cuts, when required, while the development of energy storage systems is also needed, something which in our country has been characteristically delayed…

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