As the electricity system changes, attention must be paid to generation and balancing capacity reserves and further developments of interconnections


Integration of renewables into the Latvian electricity system and replacing the generation of large thermal power plants will require developing additional generation and balancing capacities in the next ten years, concluded in the annual assessment report published by JSC Augstsprieguma tīkls (AST).

A shortage of generating capacity is expected in the next decade in both Latvia and the Baltics as a whole. Almost half of the large thermal power plants in the Baltics is to be shut down due to the foreseen changes in the state support mechanisms. The Imanta CHP was closed this year. Another suspension of 442 MW is expected in 2029 when Riga CHP-1 and one of the Riga CHP-2 units will be shut down.  

At the same time, AST predicts significant wind energy development throughout the Baltic region, which could affect the security and stability of the electricity system. Therefore, additional balancing capacities are needed, as new wind power generations are connected to the grid. Thus, it is important to ensure the stability of Latvia's existing generation capacity by developing interconnections, strengthening the transmission network, and ensuring closer integration of the Baltic electricity system into the European electricity market.

"Meeting the Latvian climate goals requires new approach to the current energy system. Traditional forms of electricity generation will be replaced by energy from renewable sources, therefore the transmission system operator must carefully follow the changes, react accordingly, continuously adapt and improve the system to ensure stable and reliable electricity supply", explains Arnis Daugulis, AST board member responsible for development.

In order to regulate the load and frequency in the power system, which is essential in both normal and emergency conditions, it is necessary to develop the market for frequency maintenance and renewal reserves and to make capital investments in electricity storage batteries, ensuring continuous availability of frequency regulation reserves.

In addition, a need for electricity demand response service and independent aggregation is also seen, as it would ensure the balancing power in the electricity system. Currently, the most significant obstacle identified is the lack of regulatory enactments that would regulate the operation of independent aggregators.

The annual statement report prepared by AST is an important document for the development of the Latvian electricity system, as it sets out and considers several possible generation development scenarios, analyses consumption and peak loads, reviews the electricity balance for the next 10 years and informs about available daily capacity in the near future.

Read the full report here: