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Green-Coal Paradox

From EverybodyWiki Bios & Wiki

Green-Coal Paradox refers to the necessity of considerable increase in electricity generation (base load) by coal-fired thermal plants (TPPs), emitting harmful substances, in the presence of considerable capacities of “clean” wind (WPPs) and solar (SPPs) power plants in Ukraine's power system. It is also necessary to reduce the base load of nuclear power plants (NPPs), which, unlike coal-fired TPPs, do not produce harmful emissions into the atmosphere. This is due to a significant shortage of flexible capacity in the power grid of Ukraine.[1]

In other words, the Ukrainian power grid includes an element of paradox: an increase in the number of WPPs and SPPs leads to an increase in carbon and other harmful emissions. This situation was first described as a "green/coal paradox" in 2018 by the CEO of SE NPC Ukrenergo Vsevolod Kovalchuk based on the results of the research on the problems and perspectives of accelerated growth of SPP and WPP in the power grid of Ukraine.[2]

The power generation capacity of SPP and WPP can change dramatically and is not easily predicted, as it depends directly on weather changes, i.e. the presence of sun and wind. Therefore, in order to maintain the balance of demand and generation of electricity in the power system, a large reserve of capacities for manoeuvring is required - fast loading and unloading of power units due to fluctuations in electricity generation at WPPs and SPPs. In the power grid of Ukraine, hydroelectric power stations (HPPs) and coal-fired TPPs are used for manoeuvring, accounting for a larger share of the load. According to Ukrenergo, in 2018 IPS of Ukraine is capable of accepting, without any problems, 4.75 thousand MW of wind and solar.[3]

When the total installed capacity of wind and solar exceeds 4.75 thousand MW, during a sharp fluctuation of electricity generation from RES, the base load at NPPs, whose capacity is at the same level, will have to be reduced, and that of coal-fired TPPs increased in order to have more manoeuvrability.[3] According to the State Agency of Energy Efficiency, as of April 2019, RES capacity in Ukraine is over 3000 MW. Including 2200 MW (71%) of solar power. In the first quarter of 2019 alone, more than 860 MW of RES capacities were put into operation, of which solar makes up the majority (almost 700 MW).[4]

The total volume of technical conditions issued for the admission of RES in the power grid of Ukraine, as of April 2019, amounted to 10.5 thousand MW, including 6700 MW solar. Another 6000 MW is being considered.[3]Absence in Ukraine of a perfect modern system of forecasting RES generation does not allow precise prediction of the level of wind and solar generation. Daily planning of electricity generation, the forecast error is currently set at 30%.[5]

Therefore, Ukrenergo proposes to develop a system of precise forecasting with 3-10% error as a priority measure for integrating RES into the IPS of Ukraine.[5]In addition, the modelling carried out by Ukrenergo shows that in order to overcome the "green/coal paradox" in the IPS of Ukraine, it is necessary to construct 2- 3 thousand MW of highly flexible generating capacities in the next few years.[6]

The term green-coal paradox was coined by engineers in Wärtsilä, the world leader in advanced energy technologies. They analysed the structure of the Integrated Power System of Ukraine, accounting for the rapid development of green energy. The results of the study were presented in the report «Flexibility to future proof the Ukrainian power system. Solving the Ukrainian Green-Coal paradox».


  1. "Парадокс на 55 млрд гривен. Почему бурное развитие зеленой энергетики дорого обойдется потребителям". 25 May 2018.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "Закон о «зеленых» аукционах: как предотвратить обвал рынка электроэнергии". 3 May 2019.
  4. "Сергій Савчук: Здобутки та плани розвитку сонячної енергетики в Україні обговорили із гравцями ринку на конференції «CISOLAR 2019»". 17 April 2019.
  5. 5.0 5.1 "УКРЕНЕРГО пропонує план для розвитку "зеленої" генерації". Energefficiency.
  6. "Как Украине сэкономить 300 млн евро в год на энергетике". 21 December 2018.

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