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News in Brief, BB200602

System Adequacy Forecast 2006-2015 by UCTE counts increasingly on renewables

08.02.2007

The UCTE has issued its annual System Adequacy Forecast (SAF). The conclusions of the 2006 SAF, which has a time horizon from 2006 to 2015, reveal first of all, that the outlook for future system adequacy is improving compared to last years’ assessment. The expected load is growing less than projected in the 2005 SAF, and generation capacity is growing faster. As a result, the point in time where the margin between generation capacity and expected peak load (the so-called Adequacy Reference Margin, ARM) would become critical putting the system at risk – is shifting to a point further in the future. So the expected reliability of the system has improved since former estimations.

The lion’s share of the additional generating capacity up to 2015 is expected to come from renewable energy – notably wind power. The TSOs expect that in 2015 renewable energy capacity will be 13 % of total generation capacity in the UCTE area. By 2015, nuclear capacity is expected to have decreased by 4-5%. Hydro capacity is increasing slightly (2-5%). On the other hand the development of conventional thermal capacity is much more uncertain – the estimated increase varies between 3.4 - 12 %.

Compared to the conventional energy sources, renewables are expected to grow significantly. The growth between 2006 and 2015 is expected to be 105 - 140 %, depending on the scenario considered. The estimates for renewable capacity growth used in the report’s "Scenario A" are quite conservative. "Scenario B" seems more realistic. The conservative scenario A only uses firm information on future investments and decommissioning, and the ‘best estimate’ scenario B is based on a broader set of data available to TSOs.

"The analysis does not take into account that, by making better use of cross border exchange of power, the capacity credit of wind power and its contribution to system adequacy can be significantly enhanced. Hence, the analysis is underestimating the contribution of wind power to system reliability," says Frans Van Hulle, EWEA..

The SAF has a strong emphasis on generation adequacy, and falls short of analysing the implications of the substantial increase in renewables on the transmission grid, such as cross border flows. It merely concludes that transfer capacities do not seem to be an obstacle to system security.

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