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Without thermal power plants and thermal power plants: will Ukraine have light?

Photo: DSNS press service

The electricity situation in Ukraine is already critical, so Ukrainians are urged to conserve consumption every day from 19:00 to 22:00.

The Russian army continues a series of massive attacks on Ukraine’s energy sector. Moreover, this time the enemy focused on thermal power plants, central lines and hydroelectric power stations. It is their restoration that takes a very long time – from several months to years. What the Ukrainians should prepare in the event of the complete destruction of thermal generation is beyond the story.

How does Ukraine’s energy system work?

Ukraine’s energy system is a branched structure without a specific center. Generation businesses supply electricity to the general network, where the voltage reaches the end consumer. Local networks are interconnected through specialized substations.

Most generation capacity is state-owned, in particular hydro and nuclear power plants, part of thermal power plants and combined heat and power plants. At the same time, there are a number of thermal power plants, combined heat and power plants, wind and solar stations in private ownership.

The main regulator of the electricity sector is the National Energy Company Ukrenergo. Distribution of electrical resources to end consumers is carried out by 32 system operators.

Before the mass invasion, more than half of the generation came from nuclear power plants, and up to 7% from hydroelectric power plants (HPPs) and pumped storage power plants (PSPPs). TPP (thermal power plants that produce electricity) and CHP (combined heat and power plants that can simultaneously produce light and heat) generation facilities produce about a third of the electricity.

Current situation

As for thermal power plants, in Ukraine they are owned by three companies: almost 80% is controlled by Rinat Akhmetov’s DTEK group, the state-owned Centrenergo is in second place, and the Donbasenergo company of Maxim Efimov and Eduard Bondarenko did less. , reports Ukrainskaya Pravda.

After the final shelling of the Trypilska Thermal Power Plant, Centrenergo lost all 100% of its generation, because in the summer of 2022 the Uglegorsk Thermal Power Plant was captured, and on March 22, 2024, the enemy destroyed the Zmievskaya Thermal Power Plant in Kharkov region.

Thus, all three TPPs owned by Centrenergo were destroyed or acquired.

Donbasenergo has two thermal power plants. The Starobeshevskaya Thermal Power Plant has been under the occupation of the “DPR” since 2015, and the Slavyanskaya Thermal Power Plant is located next to the front line and is being systematically shelled by the Russians.

There is little thermal generation left in the DTEK. Even before the invasion, the Zuevskaya thermal power plant was occupied, and then the Zaporozhye and Lugansk thermal power plants. The remaining objects are constantly subject to Russian attacks. In total, about 80% of the company’s capacity was damaged or destroyed. But in the morning attacks on April 11, two more power plants were damaged again.

So, as Ukrpravda said, less than 20% of thermal generation remains than is available before March 22, 2024.

Destruction of thermal power plants: what is the alternative?

The Russians have decided to shut down thermal and hydroelectric power plants in Ukraine, as they serve as shunting stations. This means that these generations can quickly increase electricity production in the morning and evening, when consumption increases rapidly. And the energy system can work well with balance: consumption equals production.

The experts called different numbers for thermal generation attacks for its total damage: from two to ten large strikes. Therefore, with the complete elimination of thermal power plants and thermal power plants in Ukraine, only the main generation will work, that is, nuclear power plants, as well as solar and wind power plants. Part of the consumption will be covered by imports and emergency aid.

In general, we can say that The nuclear power plant in Ukraine is like a stable island of electricity productionbut with the loss of thermal power plants Ukrainians are guaranteed to expect rolling blackouts at least in July-August and in winter.

“In fact, questions will arise in the summer, because the fuel in the nuclear power plants will have to be reloaded and the power units will be taken for repairs. It is too early to talk about introducing shutdown schedules at consumption peaks, but everything is possible. Therefore, we need to save electricity and help power engineers in order to more or less calmly enter into heating season next year,” explained the ex- chairman of the State Inspectorate for Nuclear Regulation of Ukraine Grigory Plachkov in a comment to the Commander-in-Chief.

Let’s remember that experts do not undertake to estimate the size of the power loss for objective reasons.

Why is there still light?

In fact, the electricity situation in the country is already critical, but large-scale power outages can be avoided through several factors:

  • Emergency shutdowns in Kharkov and restrictions on industrial consumers in Krivoy Rog.

  • Import and emergency assistance to the European grid.

  • Lower peak consumption due to weather conditions. As soon as the heat comes to the country, the consumption starts to increase, so they can have a blackout.

At the same time, the CEO of Yasno, Sergei Kovalenko, has already talked with the Ukrainians and called for savings in electricity consumption every day during peak hours – from 19:00 to 22:00.

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Source: korrespondent

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