Moldova Faces Blackout due to Accidents in Ukraine: Energy Purchases Break Records

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On Tuesday, the Ukrainian energy system lost five power plant units at once. This explains why Ukraine’s electricity imports set a new record of more than 19 GWh on 26 December. “During the day, three units at thermal power plants went into emergency repair, two more units were put into current repair,” quotes the Ukrainian energy system operator. Ukrenergo noted that despite the warm weather, the overall consumption level in the country remained high. On 27 December, European supplies to Ukraine continued. In some hours, the capacity could have reached 1.12 GW. Electricity imports to Ukraine from Europe and Moldova are growing and breaking records almost on a daily basis. This is explained by the decreasing energy system capacity. “The forecast maximum consumption during 2023/2024 is expected to be 17,500 MW, while the guaranteed generation coverage (taking into account accidents and other factors) is estimated at 16,000 MW. Thus, the potential capacity deficit might reach 1.5 GW. The agreed external interface is 1,200 MW (with the prospect of increasing to 1,700 MW), which we can import if necessary. All of the above suggests that the energy system enters the 2023-2024 winter season without a safety margin. Even without missile strikes, with prolonged low temperatures, there will be consumer shutdowns to balance the energy system,” this forecast was given in mid-November by Viktor Kurtev, owner and CEO of Metropoliya Group, Director of Energy and Sustainable Development Programs at Kyiv School of Public Administration. On 26 December, imports exceeded 19 GWh, crossing the red line more than 10 times. We can see some crisis preconditions in Moldova. The fact is that the energy systems of Ukraine and Moldova were merged into a single one in February last year. At the same time, Moldova has minimal own electricity production (excluding Transnistria), and imports, as Kurtev confirmed, are limited. Therefore, energy system collapses, for example, in Odesa district, may spread to Moldova as well. We hope that the Ukrainian energy system will survive Russian attacks. The Moldovan energy sector has not yet commented on the situation.