Ukraine's thermal power grid suffers 85% capacity loss, recovery uncertain

DiXi Group project expert Olena Lapenko discussed the situation with thermal generation
DiXi Group project expert Olena Lapenko discussed the situation with thermal generation

Ukraine's thermal generation has suffered a devastating blow, losing approximately 85% of its capacity, Olena Lapenko, a project expert at Ukraine's think tank DiXi Group, said during the presentation of the document "Summer Outlooks: Assessing Readiness for Risks in the Electric Power and Gas Sectors," NV Business reported on May 29.

"The timeline for recovery remains uncertain, despite some experts' claims," she said.

The recent Russian attack damaged at least two facilities of the state hydro power operator Ukrhydroenergo, Lapenko said.

The loss of thermal and hydroelectric power plants severely impacts flexible generation, crucial for balancing peak electricity consumption in the mornings and evenings, the report emphasized. Even during the warmer months, the available capacity will fall short, said event participants.

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"The Ukrainians have already felt the impact," they said.

DiXi Group's estimations revealed a significant decline in electricity consumption in Ukraine, dropping by 25-30% in 2022-2023 compared to pre-invasion levels. Industrial consumption plummeted by 45%, while household consumption decreased by 16%. Total generating capacity fell from 37.6 GW to 18.3 GW.

DiXi Group predicts Ukraine's power system will face an electricity deficit in the summer of 2024, outlining three potential scenarios for this period.

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The first scenario hinges on the absence of further Russian attacks on the power system and moderate temperatures. Under these conditions, the deficit during peak hours would amount to 1.3 GW, with the Loss of Load Probability (LOLP) not exceeding 21%.

In the second scenario, a substantial increase in electricity consumption due to rising average daily temperatures is anticipated. Here, the deficit during peak hours could escalate to 2.86 GW, with an LOLP of 28%.

The third scenario accounts for moderate temperatures but envisions new damage to flexible generation. In this case, the deficit could reach 2.8 GW, with an LOLP of 35%.

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The Trypilska Thermal Power Station in Kyiv Oblast was destroyed by Russians on April 11. Energy facilities nationwide were targeted in several Russian missile and drone attacks.

The Dnipro Hydroelectric Station lost both power plants. While the dam survived, the equipment was destroyed, and the restoration of the Dnipro HPP may take years. In Kharkiv, the TEC-5 (combined heat and power plant) was destroyed. Its restoration is tantamount to building a new facility, which will also take several years. Kharkiv Oblast's Zmiyiv TPP (part of Centrenergo) was destroyed.

DTEK Group announced it lost 80% of its generation. All power units of the Burshtynska and Ladyzhynska TPPs were damaged. A gas storage facility in western Ukraine was also damaged.

Preliminary estimates suggest that the latest Russian attacks on the Ukrainian energy system caused losses of at least 90-100 million euros, including only the company's high-voltage equipment, said Ukrenergo head Volodymyr Kudrytskyi on March 24.

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