Ukraine mulls future power trade with EU after emergency grid connection

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However, the full launch of European Union trade for the entire Ukrainian system could take years, even without the challenges posed by the war.

Ukraine may increase its electricity exports to the European Union and is working to enable electricity trade with Europe in the future, the country’s main utility and operator said on Thursday (April 14th). of electrical network.

The EU and Ukraine connected the European electricity system to the Ukrainian grid on March 16 in response to the Russian invasion. The move increased the independence of the Ukrainian system from Russia and means that Ukraine can receive emergency power from Europe if military attacks cause power outages.

Managing Director of Ukrainian utility DTEK Maxim Timchenko said Ukraine could also export more power to Europe – 600 megawatts without requiring grid upgrades, plus another 1,000 MW via Poland if an inactive electric cable is reopened.

“I believe we can convince that our system has proven to be very stable in synchronization mode…and there is reason to gradually increase cross-border capacity for trade operations,” Timchenko said.

The connection to the network – which was carried out in a few weeks, being already planned for 2023 – was an emergency response and does not include commercial exchanges. Ukraine’s electricity consumption plummeted during the war.

A spokesman for Ukrainian grid operator Ukrenergo said emergency power from Europe had not been needed so far and it was continuing technical work that could pave the way for trade with Europe.

“Further power trade opportunities with Europe will be assessed in cooperation with our European partners in the near future,” the spokesperson said, adding that it would have a “significant annual economic effect on Ukraine and Europe”.

EU energy policy chief Kadri Simson told Reuters the first month of grid synchronization had been a success and there was scope to introduce trading in the future.

“At the moment, exceptional trade is possible with Poland and we are working to make system-level trade with the EU possible in the future,” she said.

Ukraine’s electricity exports are currently 200 MW via a power link with Poland. Before the war, a small western section of the Ukrainian grid exported an additional 650 MW to Slovakia and Hungary, a trader told Reuters.

However, the full launch of EU trade for the entire Ukrainian system could take years, even without the challenges posed by the war. Poland’s power grid said it could take until 2026 to restart a 1,000 MW power link between Rzeszow in Poland and Khmelnytskyi in Ukraine, which was interrupted in 1992.

Trade would also raise complex questions about electricity prices, which are designed differently in Europe and Ukraine. EU power plants also have to pay carbon dioxide costs to cover their greenhouse gas emissions.

A spokesperson for continental Europe’s power system, the European Network of Electricity Transmission System Operators (ENTSO-E), said the conditions for full grid synchronization have yet to be established.

As part of a planned test, Ukraine decoupled from a Russian-linked electricity system on the day of the Russian invasion – meaning Moscow can no longer control technical aspects of the grid, such as the network frequency – and said it would not reconnect. – Rappler.com

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