BUSINESS

Q1 wind power output matches 2010 equivalent

Wind turbines in Dobrogea generated in the first three months of the year as much energy as they did throughout last year, an amount high enough to provide lighting to a city with population 100,000 for an entire year. It is for the first time that wind power finds a place in the monthly reports drawn up by the National Energy Regulatory Authority (ANRE), alongside nuclear, thermal or hydro power. In January of this year, wind power accounted for 0.8 per cent of the whole energy produced. “Given the nearly 650 MW of installed power, the National Power Grid operates normally <given the sufficient reserves provided by other such sectors as hydro or gas>. Actually, up to 3000 MW could be obtained from wind power plants without restrictions,” said Octavian Lohan, Assistant General Manager, Transelectrica, said.

The wind power production is 50 times higher than in the year-earlier period. In January-March of this year, the energy transporters dispensed over 281,000 green certificates matching a similar amount of MWh of wind power against 5268 MW in the same period a year ago for which Transelectrica issued green certificates. The rise is explained by the large projects, as those implemented by CEZ, Enel or Energias de Portugal, being completed at the end of last year. This year therefore becomes the first wherein green energy, accounting for 5 per cent of Romania’s power output, could play a major role in the energy production structure in Romania. Nonetheless, wind power is by no means the only one to register a significant rise in the first three months of the year. Even if, in the first quarter of last year, not a single MW of solar power plugged into the national grid, and therefore no green certificate awarded, this year, 198 such certificates have been issued, on account of 198 MWh, enough to supply 300 home residences for three months.

The stepped-up rise in green power, mostly an unpredictable form of energy, could become a problem in the long run, in the absence of reserve capacities, experts say. Basically, as the number of turbines goes up, the construction will become necessary of capacities able to quickly switch on and off in order to keep the system in balance.

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