The prospects for balancing capacity were discussed at the round table "Investment attractiveness of RES balancing in Ukraine" on July 23, 2019.

Key points:

  • New balancing capacities will be competitively selected in accordance with the procedure developed by the Ministry of Energy and Coal Industry (will be available on the website of the Ministry of Energy and Coal in the future); the winner is the one who is cheaper and meets the technical requirements for balancing in different balancing groups;
  • Ukrenergo: “500 MW of new natural gas balancing capacity should be in 2020”. ;
  • The views of WARTSILA, a manufacturer of high-maneuvered gas units based on gas piston engines: "Better to balance by a combination of different technologies: batteries, GPAs, steam and gas installations, and smart demand management systems".

What is the best to use for balancing the grid in Ukraine?

It is difficult to answer this question, as there are no indications as to the price level of balancing electricity (UAH/MWh). In Ukraine, this price is 35-70 Euro/MWh and depends on the period of the day and the ratio of the balancing sources involved – now it is coal thermal power plants and hydro-accumulating power plants.

For different energy systems in the world, depending on various factors (seasons, time of day, balancing sources, network synchronization with neighbors), the price of balancing electricity often reaches 400-500 Euro/MWh, and in some short periods of time (second peaks) up to 9,000 Euro/MWh. According to preliminary estimates of the Bioenergy Association, biomass and biogas plants can operate in the balancing capacity market at the price of balancing electricity of 150-240 Euro/MWh for CHP and 220-260 Euro/MWh for biogas plants.

100 MW of biomass and biogas capacity is already supplying electricity to the grid of Ukraine (June 2019), and by 2035 this figure should be increased to 1.7 GW in accordance with the Energy Strategy of Ukraine for the period until 2035.

So instead of inefficient burning of coal at coal plants and building new gas units, it makes sense to consider biomass and biogas capacities to balance the grid.