zaterdag 16 oktober 2010

Wind energy Romania

Romania's wind power projects threefold the capacity of a nuclear reactor

Applications for the connection to the national power grid filed with Transelectrica are threefold the capacity of a Cernavoda nuclear reactor, reports However, many of these projects will just stay on paper. The most advanced investment is that of CEZ (Czech Republic), the biggest onshore wind farm in Europe, due for completion this year. Grid connection applications by companies that plan to invest in wind power generation total 22,800 MW, eight times the capacity national electricity operator Transelectrica can install. "This significant demand for installed wind power capacity exceeds by far the current adjustment possibilities of the national electricity system. The maximum wind power capacity that can be installed is 2,660 MW," reads a Transelectrica document posted on the website of the National Energy Regulatory Authority (ANRE). According to Dan Preotescu, Transelectica network planning director, grid connection contracts signed so far amount to 1,500 MW and 1,160 MW are still available. "We accept applications by the criterion first-come, first served," says Preotescu. The most advanced wind power investment in Romania is that of CEZ - Czech Republic. The 600 MW wind farm is sited in Dobrogea, at Fantanele and Cogealan, and its capacity is almost equal to that of a nuclear reactor of the Cernavoda plant, which can produce 700 MW. CEZ officials say that 350 MW will be available mid-2010 and the complete 600 MW of clean electricity will be in place at the end of 2010. This will be Europe 's largest onshore wind farm and the total investment amounts to 1.1 billion euros. "It's still unclear what Romania’s wind power capacity will be at the end of the year. Apart from CEZ, other companies also announced projects due for completion, yet of lesser capacity," said Preotescu. "The other projects totaling 18,900 MW have the studies for the connection to the public network finalized and a considerable part thereof have the documentation submitted for the technical connection approval," shows the Transelectrica release. Dan Preotescu says the biggest issue for investors in renewable energy is not the connection to the power system, but the market, that is where to sell the electricity. In late 2008, Romania’s total capacity of wind turbines was of just 10 MW, below that of neighboring countries. The new wind turbines installed by CEZ will sap the costly technology of local producers in the country, especially power stations. "This investment might hasten the closure of cost-intensive plants like Doicesti, Borzesti, Galati and Braila. On average, a wind farm effectively operates at 30% of the installed capacity. But the aforementioned plants use even less of their capacity. They are kept alive artificially," says energy analyst Jean Constantinescu. The benefits of wind farms are connected to the green certificates award system for the produced energy according to which for 1 MWh of electricity fed into the power grid, the producer gets a double price, allowing him to charge more advantageous fees. In addition, clean electricity is the first fed into the transport networks, which gives the producer an edge over coal or gas fired power plants. The downside is that wind farm electricity supplies are not continuous, like those of a thermal power plant, because of the variable direction of the wind. Dobrogea is the main target for investors in wind energy facilities. Deputy Gheorghe Dragomir, member of the Budget-finance Committee, estimated that total investments in such farms amount to four billion euros. The main investors in the sector are the Czech CEZ, Italy’s Enel, Iberdrola, Energia de Portugal.

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