After desynchronization of Baltic region with BRELL network, nuclear power plants could also be used to stabilize electricity system - Latvenergo

  • 2022-05-18
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - The Baltic region will be the only one in the world with so many direct current connections after desynchronization with the Russian and Belarusian electricity supply chain BRELL and joining the Central European network, therefore, nuclear power plants could also be used to stabilize the system in the future, Maris Balodis, director of research and development at joint-stock power supply company Latvenergo, said at the conference Nuclear Energy in Latvia today.

He explained that in the medium term Latvia is definitely talking about renewable energy, but in the future it is necessary to think about how to better integrate other types of electricity production into the Latvian portfolio.

"The higher the gross domestic product (GDP) in a country, the higher the per capita electricity consumption. At present, our electricity consumption is lower than the European average. If we want to reach a similar level in the future as Finland, Norway or even Canada, we have 20-30 years of work ahead of us, to ensure higher generation," said Balodis, adding that the country 's growth is characterized not only by electricity generation, but also by consumption and industrial development.

He also pointed out that by 2030, Baltic electricity exports will remain at 20-30 percent of consumption, and renewable generation will increase. However, it must be taken into account that renewable generation is volatile, so it is necessary to take measures to store electricity or compensate for it with stable and dispatchable generation.

Balodis pointed out that the Baltic region will be the only region in the world with so many direct current connections after desynchronization with the BRELL network and connection synchronously with Central Europe and other lines, which together with a large amount of variable renewable energy will make system management more difficult. As a result, there are many reasons for the various safety risks and various measures are being taken to address them.

"The system operator has already started installing synchronous compensators. These are rotating reserves that ensure the stability of the system. The same could be done by generators, such as nuclear power plants, to ensure the stability of the system for the region in the future," said Balodis.

He emphasized the need to "think about stable, dispatchable forms of energy production".

Balodis also explained that renewable energies are unstable, and it has been concluded that in 2030 the capacity adequacy in Latvia in some periods could be between 45 percent to 105 percent. Thus, there may be a shortage of capacity during certain periods.