On December 3, during the 6th Central European Day of Energy, CEEP released a report on the resilience of the Central European power sector in the time of transition, written by REKK.
In the report, we focus on resilience in the context of coal phase-out and the rapid development of intermittent solar and wind energy sources. There is no question by now, that coal needs to be phased out, but there are still several options and solutions to fill in the gap in the power production capacity. When and how to replace coal in a cost-efficient way, while keeping system security levels high, remains a key question (not only) in the Central European energy sector transition.
According to the modelling natural gas-based capacities will play a key role in providing flexibility in Central Europe in 2030. More natural gas will be needed in the power sector to provide the flexibility required in the future. However, altogether less natural gas-based power generation capacities will be required for that, than what we have in the system now.
More than 14 GW of existing coal capacity is to be closed until 2030, which is around 10% of the total net generation capacity installed in Central Europe. Despite the high decrease in coal-based generation in Central Europe by 2030, coal to gas switch will happen only partly – a large share of the “missing” production is to be compensated by renewable producers. The estimated increase of intermittent RES capacity from 29 GW in 2022 to 71 GW in 2030 in Central Europe will require investments in adequate dispatchable and flexible generation, storage capacities, and grid infrastructure to maintain electricity system stability. The modelling shows, that besides maintaining around 16 GW natural gas-based capacity in the system, around 5 GW of different types of storage (including pumped storage) and demand-side management (DSM) technologies together will be able to keep lights on as well.