Eesti Energia: Estonia cannot produce enough electricity at peak times | New

Last week, Timo Tatar, vice-chancellor for energy at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, told Vikerraadio that he did not understand where the idea came from that Estonia could not cover its electricity needs during peak hours.

He said that according to Eringing’s security of supply report, the country can meet consumer demand. This document is based on the views of energy producers.

The report says peak consumption is around 1,600 megawatts and data from Elering shows Estonia’s generating capacity is 1,700 megawatts. The vast majority – 1,355 megawatts – comes from domestic oil shale plants.

However, the Iru cogeneration plant, which has a capacity of 94 megawatts, is not expected to produce electricity this year due to high gas prices.

This would reduce Estonia’s electricity supply to around 1,600 megawatts.

Eesti Energia: Covering consumption peaks is not realistic.

Andres Vainola, chairman of the board of Enefit Power, a subsidiary of Eesti Energia, believes that Estonia is unable to generate enough electricity to meet its own domestic demand.

“Theoretically, and if we don’t take into account the open electricity market, in our opinion, winter peak consumption cannot be covered by Estonia’s generation capacities,” he said. to ERR.

Andres Vainola, CEO of Enefit Power. Source: Ken Murk/ERR

“Even if the total capacity of the stations indicated in the [report’s] table is higher than the peak consumption of Estonia, the situation where all [power] stations simultaneously produce maximum power is not realistic. Inevitably, all power plants need periods of maintenance and repair from time to time, and possible interruptions due to accidents must also be taken into account,” the president said.

Vainola said it is not a big problem as long as Estonia remains connected to the Nordic electricity market, as security of supply is always guaranteed.

However, this makes the country more vulnerable to electricity market conditions, such as fluctuating prices, that are beyond its control.

Elering spokesman Ain Köster said it could not be ruled out that Estonian-controlled production could fall.

New production capacities

Technically, Eesti Energia could build additional new generation capacity relatively cheaply and quickly. Renovating three currently closed units would create an additional 500 megawatts of electricity.

But the company isn’t sure there’s a real need for it.

“This scenario is purely theoretical and there are no exact predictions or data on feasibility. In reality, it would be an extremely risky investment,” Eesti Energia said.

Blocks would take about a year to convert.

“At that time, the market situation may have changed and it is possible that the renovated building [power] stations will never enter the market due to their high price,” Eesti Energia spokesman Mattias Kaiv said.

He said the company’s subsidiary, Enefit Green, plans to invest 1.5 billion euros in wind and solar farms between 2022 and 2026, and that it is the most “affordable” solution. and “ecological” for future electricity production.

“This solution is certainly sustainable compared to hybrid power plants using oil shale, which, due to high production prices due to environmental and resource fees, meant that they were often unable to enter the market there. a few years,” Kaiv said.

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Carol N. Valencia