Security of supply on Europe’s mind for 2011/2012 winter season
The decision to phase out German nuclear power impacts the outlook for European security of supply for the coming winter. The reason is that 8000 MW of German nuclear power was phased out immediately in the spring of 2011, which may impact the power supply for the 2011/2012 winter season, according to the ENTSO-E report Winter Outlook Report 2011/2012.
Germany has decided to phase out all of its nuclear power plants by 2022, a total of 21 000 MW. The phasing out of the first 8 000 MW of production capacity will reduce access to power generation this coming winter. This means that Europe as a whole may experience a strained operating situation should important transmission interconnectors or production units shut down, according to prognoses from ENTSO-E (European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity) for the coming winter.
Potential deficit of 5 000 MW
The report indicates that the operating situation could become strained in cold weather. Both in Germany and France a deficit of more than 5 000 MW is expected on very cold days. There will be physical capacity to import this from neighbouring regions. The combination of very cold weather and a shutdown of important transmission interconnectors or production units could make the operating situation in the European power system strained.
Norwegian power system not affected
Looking at the Norwegian effect balance in isolation, it is positive, even on very cold winter days. A possible strained European situation is considered to have minimal operational technical significance for the Norwegian power system. In such situations, the export signal for our international interconnectors increases. The European prognoses underline Norway’s potential role as a supplier of capacity in the coming “renewable” European power system.
ENTSO-E’s “Winter Outlook Report 2011/2012”