December 1, 2015 / 1:26 PM / 4 years ago

European power grids adequate for winter but risks in Poland -report

* Grid lobby steers talks to avoid short supply in Poland

* Renewable power moves in loop flows, curbs its imports

* France, Britain, Belgium also mentioned

FRANKFURT, Dec 1 (Reuters) - European power supplies for this winter look adequate overall but there are doubts about whether Poland’s transmission networks are sufficiently prepared for the cold season, ENTSO-E, the European power grid lobby said on Tuesday.

“In general, Europe has sufficient (power) generation for both normal and severe demand conditions,” it said. “However, adequacy in Poland was identified as potentially at risk.”

ENTSO-E represents transmission system operators (TSOs) in 34 European countries. They transport electricity from generation plants to consumers in increasingly converging markets.

Poland’s import capacity is limited by unscheduled flows of electricity across northern and central Europe, where Germany operates plenty of wind power that is driven by weather patterns and located away from centres of heavy power consumption.

ENTSO-E said that it was in talks about co-ordinating the Polish congestion situation and that Belgium, France and Britain could also see stress on their grids under severe climate conditions.

The report covered the outlook for 34 countries from Dec. 1 through early April 2016 and added Albania, Malta, western Ukraine and Turkey to the analysis.

Various countries may require imports to cover expected demand, which rises in the winter for heating purposes and due to higher stress on industrial equipment, but cross-border capacity will be mostly able to accommodate this, it said.

Under EU policies, countries in the region co-operate on supply in critical situations, using grid management and strategic reserves.

Electricity flows between France and Germany represent capacity equivalent to five nuclear reactors, providing regular and efficient supply in the EU’s two main power markets.

Belgium has reduced nuclear supply due to cracks found in the core tanks of two reactors and at times relies on imports from France.

Britain, which faces tight power supply, only has a small interconnector with France.

France has to deal with a high proportion of electric heating, developed by successive governments to absorb supplies generated by its nuclear reactors, whereas Germany uses mainly gas and heating oil heaters to keep households warm.

Germany, which stopped 41 percent of its nuclear capacity in the wake of the Fukushima disaster in 2011, has made far-reaching reserve provisions to avoid tightness, but at heavy cost to its consumers, its energy regulator said. (Reporting by Vera Eckert, editing by Susan Fenton)

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