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24 May, 2024
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Saturday's blackout caused by increase in renewable energy usage

'No one can predict with great accuracy a cloud that will cover Cyprus in a few minutes', says EAC union member on Saturday's outages

Sotos Savva, president of the Association of Scientific Power Generation AHK (SEPAIK), linked problems caused by the increased use of renewable energy sources, particularly the majority of photovoltaic panels, to Saturday's 15-minute power outage across Cyprus.

"One issue is what happened on Saturday morning, but it also happened at the end of January, namely the sharp reduction in the supply of energy from Renewable Energy Sources (RES) due to a major failure in the forecast of RES production," he said in a statement to state radio, adding that "the second issue is the need to cut production from RES due to the fact that we have a very small power grid for RES, which needs to use a percentage that is around 200 - 215 megawatts (MW) from conventional power plants.  That is, with 100% renewable generation, the system cannot operate in a stable manner. To absorb the system's shocks, whether upward or downward, a contribution of around 200 MW from conventional plants is required."

Are no calculations made?

When asked why calculations on the amount of electricity needed at any given time from conventional generation are not made, Savva stated that "no one can predict with great accuracy a cloud that will cover Cyprus in a few minutes, which has a small geographical area and where a cloud can affect it and there can be a reduction of 120 MW."On Saturday, in a system with a demand of 500 MW, we saw a reduction in renewable generation of 120 MW or nearly 25% of our total generation. It was difficult to compensate from reserves.  The TSO attributed the sharp reduction in RES supply in its statement on Saturday, citing a major failure in the RES generation forecast. "This is something we have to accept because we are a small system," he added.

A storage solution
"Storage is one solution in this regard. The EAC has storage proposals, but when it comes to the Dhekelia plant, the EAC trade unions agree on one thing: the generators must be replaced, and smaller and more flexible units must be installed. There is access from the EAC, and in our opinion, the State, Ministry, and RAEC should give EAC the order to proceed with these units, which is a project that includes energy storage," Savva added.

Cyprus  |  energy  |  electricity

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