The electricity system faced during the recent heatwave up to twice the load compared to the beginning of summer as demand for electricity increased due to the extensive use of air conditioners, while the peak load exceeded 10,000 megawatts for several days.
The development of renewable energy sources and especially photovoltaics that contribute to meeting the demand during midday hours, the integration of new modern thermal power generation units and the reinforcements to the transmission and distribution networks are the main causes that have so far allowed the increased needs to be met without significant problems, beyond local outages and damage caused by fires.
According to the Independent Power Transmission Operator (IPTO), the load of the system exceeded 10,000 megawatts for certain days last week. More specifically, last Monday the peak load reached 10,345 megawatts, while the total daily demand during the hot days was 440 gigawatt hours. In periods of low demand (e.g. at the end of May) the demand was close to 230 gigawatt hours.
The loads were largely covered by the contribution of RES (mainly photovoltaic and hydroelectric) which participated with a percentage of more than 30% in the daily balance.
According to the data of the Renewable Energy Sources Operator & Guarantees of Origin, the power of RES (excluding large hydroelectric) was in April 10.8 gigawatts (compared with 5 gigawatts in April 2019), while photovoltaics – which yield the maximum during the midday hours, when demand is also peaking due to high temperatures – they have exceeded 5.5 gigawatts (up from 2.5 4 years ago).
A prerequisite for the development of RES is the corresponding development of the networks that create the required capacity for the transport and distribution of green energy to consumers and also the improvement of security of supply in conditions of high demand such as the current period.