The idea that the country may have rushed to get rid of lignite and we would have passed the energy crisis more relaxed if we had it still in full use, has been widely circulated lately. A team of researchers from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTh) did something simple. He took a month, specifically in December and analyzed day by day, hour by hour, the price of electricity with the current composition, ie with Renewable Energy Sources and natural gas and compared it with the old composition where lignite dominated. The difference is overwhelming.
If we had stayed with the production of lignite at the levels of previous years, the price of electricity at wholesale would be 80 euros more expensive today per megawatt hour! Preliminary calculations show that we were still living in the lignite era, we would have paid 30% more for electricity! The fact that the much cheaper wind and photovoltaic parks entered the mix changed the trend. The electricity produced is cheaper, even now at higher prices than we would pay for lignite.
A much gloomier picture for the prices in the Next Day market in December, if the RES did not participate in the electricity generation mixture, reflects a study of the Aristotle University. It is indicative that, compared to 235.38 euros per megawatt hour that the market closed in December, without the assistance of RES no day in December the price would not fall below 243.37 euros per megawatt hour.
The research was mentioned by the Minister of PEN, Costas Skrekas, during his position at the informal Council of Energy Ministers in the city of Amiens, France, in order to highlight the contribution of RES in the de-escalation of energy prices. As he pointed out, based on the AUTh study, without the production of RES, the average price in the wholesale electricity market in December would reach the level of 315 euros / MWh in our country, compared to 235 euros / MWh that was actually formed.
More specifically, the research concluded that, in the absence of “green” electricity generation, December would close at 319.18 euros / MWh. Therefore, renewable energy sources “cut” by the price of the Next Day market by 83.8 euros / MWh.
According to the data of AUTh, there was not a single hour in the whole of December when the price without RES was lower than the final price of electricity, in which of course the cost of energy production from RES is calculated.
The RES researchers modeled the evolution on an hourly basis of prices in the Next Day market, if it were not for the wind and photovoltaic parks that contribute to the electricity generation system. Reducing the results to average daily values, it appears, among other things, that the negative record of 415.94 euros / MWh, which occurred on December 22, would be even higher, reaching 451.11 euros / MWh.
Even more important, however, is that the absence of RES would not allow prices to escalate, in the days when there was rich wind and solar potential. Thus, without the “green” electricity generation, the lowest daily price would be 243.37 euros / MWh, on December 29. In reality, however, there were days with significantly lower prices, with the result that the minimum was recorded on December 31, at 117.23 euros / MWh.
So the problem is not the existence of wind and photovoltaic, but that we do not have many of them.