The European Network of Transmission System Operators (ENTSO-E) sees risks in securing a balance between the supply and demand of electricity this winter in Cyprus, Finland, France, Ireland, Malta, and Sweden.
ENTSO-E’s warning is part of the Winter Outlook 2022-2023, an analysis of the security of electricity supply on a pan-European level.
The organization stressed that the outlook is quite different from previous years due to several unique factors – the war in Ukraine, the summer drought, and the low nuclear availability in Europe, especially France.
The European electricity system remains highly dependent on gas
Authors of the outlook identified the adequacy risks and pointed out that they are higher compared to previous winters.
“The main system stresses are identified in the Irish, France, Southern Sweden, Finland, Malta and Cyprus systems where loss of load expectation (the expectation that available generation capacity will be inadequate to supply customer demand at any given moment – LOLE) has risen to higher levels than previous winters and there are simultaneous scarcity situations in various countries,” according to the report.
The electricity system remains highly dependent on gas, with minimum gas needs for electricity adequacy equal to approximately one third of total European usable gas storage. However, favorable weather conditions may relieve reliance on gas for the power system, the outlook reads.
Nuclear availability and coal supply must be closely monitored
Some additional risks may materialize and they have a substantial impact on the adequacy situation, especially if they coincide.
“Close follow-up is needed on the uncertainties around nuclear availability in France, Sweden and Finland, as well as coal supply in Germany and Poland,” according to the document.
Lowering electricity demand peaks by 5% will decrease the adequacy risk
ENTSO-E said that cutting the electricity demand peaks by 5%, as specified in Regulation (EU) 2022/1854 as an emergency intervention to address high energy prices, would significantly decrease the adequacy risk.
Continuous and close dialogue between transmission system operators and European and national authorities is ongoing to enable timely coordination and support risk preparedness efforts at all levels, ENTSO-E said.