Slovakia has a new combined cycle power plant
CASE: Slovakia has a new
combined cycle power plant
A new commercial combined cycle power plant was put into operation in Slovakia at the beginning of 2011. The power plant is located near the town Malženice in Trnava municipality. The total installed capacity is 430 MW and it should generate more than 3 billion kWh of electricity per year. If the combined cycle power plant would generate electricity only for households, it would be able to cover annual consumption of approximately 600 – 900 thousand households.
„Thanks to the state-of-the-art technology we will supply energy in an efficient and environmentaly responsible way,” said Konrad Kreuzer, chairman of the E.ON Slovensko managing board. Just for illustration, the emission footprint of the power plant in Malženice is 335 kg emissions of CO2 per every MWh. Combined cycle power plants with a lower efficiency show worse numbers, for example the CCPP in Bratislava with an efficiency of 46 % has an emission footprint 430 kg of CO2 per every MWh.
The Malženice power plant consumes around 0,5 billion cubic metres of natural gas per year. To compare, MEC SR stated in summer 2010 that in 2009 Slovakia has used 5,9 billion cubics of natural gas.
In a recently published interview for web portal „energia” Dušan Randuška from SPP has labelled the combined cycle power plants as the main generators of natural gas demand in Slovakia: „Gas consumption in Slovakia will mainly depend on the speed by which projects for electricity generation using gas will develop. This will be the main generator of the new demand in the near future.”
I. Kočiš: Plasma is not a
„Robinson” research, but has real
Plasma is the most efficient technology for dig geothermal drills. The conclusion was made by researchers from Slovakia and Austria that take part in the joint research TeReGeo within the project of cross border cooperation, says Ivan Kočiš from the interest association Celim Slovakia.
Deep-drilling technologies are subject of research of Slovak and Austrian researchers within the TeReGeo programme. The two cooperating organisations are the Technical University in Vienna and the interest association Celim Slovakia. Ivan Kočiš from the association Celim Slovakia speaks about why contact-less drilling with thermal plasma is the most effective one and also about perspectives of continuing in the research in the future.
Coordination of expert teams from both countries is being carried out via regular seminars. In the first phase they have studied two tens of various technologies of geothermal drilling, among others high-pressure hydro ray, drilling based on electric discharge or high-voltage discharge. The crucial criteria was efficiency and economic feasibility of the drilling methods in greater depth.
„From the relatively wide spectrum of 20 technologies we have narrowed them down to 2-3 technologies. Currently we are fully focusing on these also within following projects,” highlighted Kočiš.
Later on the effort of the researchers was mainly focused on disintegrating rocks with plasma, which has the biggest energy flows on one square centimetre and its easier to monitor. „Plasma is an electric arc, which heats up a certain gas able to create plasma, for example steam. When this gas reaches the temperature of 5 – 10 thousand °C, it disintegrates a rock and does not wear out as it is in the case of the current drilling methods,” explains Kočiš.
TeReGeo will be followed by more R&D projects
The TeReGeo project that was running for 24 months will officially end in February 2011. But it will maintain it continuity in form of further research projects, which were handed in be specialized companies or non-profit organisations inspired by TeReGeo. One positive trend is that more and more Slovak universities are trying to join the projects.
„Currently there are seven successor projects that would hardly become a reality without TeReGeo,” added Kočiš. As he further stated, as a results of this continuity, 30 new jobs will be created in the field of top-research.
TeReGeo is being financed through the Programme of cross-border cooperation Slovak Republic – Austria 2007-2013. As Kočiš added, from the orientation point of view, the project is an exceptional case within the program: „Most of these programmes focus on specific objects or renovation such as bridges, bicycle tracks and so on. Cooperation on specific research programmes is quite rare,” he concluded.
Week in Slovakia
Tuesday – 11th January 2011
Electricity generation in small hydro power plants in Slovakia should reach 450 Gwh per year in 2015. Until 2030 it should increase to 850 GWh per year. The estimations were suggested in the current Concept proposal for utilisation of hydro-energy potential of watercourses in Slovakia until 2030.
A new combined cycle power plant was put into commercial operation in Malženice in Trnava municipality at the beginning of January 2011. The installed capacity of the new energy sources reaches 430 MW and should generate more than 3 billion kWh of electricity. Construction of the power plant took two years and costed 400 million Euro. The whole complex comprises of two turbines and from the efficiency point of view it is one of the highest ones in Europe.
Wednesday – 12th January 2011
The Ministry of Economy and Construction wants to develop bio-methane in Slovakia. The government has approved a law amendment on RES support and combined heat and power generation. The legislative process will further continue in the Slovak National Council.
The resort of economy plans to lower state subsidies for solar installations for households by 50 %. The financial support for installing solar panel on family houses should fall from current 200 Euro to 100 Euro per one square meter. According to a representative of a leading solar collector producer, this step will cause a considerable drop on the domestic market. As he also stated, during 18 months when the higher subsidies were available, not even half off all the finances were allocated.
Thursday – 13th January 2011
Plasma is the most effective technology for geothermal drilling. This finding follows from a two-years lasting research TeReGeo that was carried out by researchers from Slovakia and Austria within a cross-border cooperation programme. The project was lead by the Technical University in Vienna together with Celim Slovakia. TeReGeo is financed through the Program of cross-border cooperation Slovak Republic-Austria 2007-2013.
Friday – 14th January 2011
The overall costs for supporting electricity generation from renewable energy sources in 2011 will increase fivefold in Slovakia if compared with 2010. The financial support should reach 192 million Euro. Solar power plants will contribute the most according to an analysis of the Regulatory Office for Network Industries (ÚRSO). From the 192 million Euro budget, 117 million will go to solar energy. 1 MWh of electricity from RES will be supported by 8,8 Euro. Just to compare with Czech republic, each MWh of electricity from RES is supported by 15,2 Euro.
European Union and World
Monday – 10th January 2011
ČEZ wants to increase its investing during the upcoming 5 years by more than a few ten billion Czech crowns. Approximately 160 billion Czech crowns should go into construction, modernisation and maintenance of power plants. Specification of the investment plans of the Czech concern revises news published in November 2010 that were talking about restricting investments by 21 %.
British members of the parliament are against a moratorium for deep-water hydro-carbon extraction. A special committee of the parliament argues that despite the ecological catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico, a ban is not necessary and it would threaten energy security of their country. Extraction drills located north from the Scottish shore are of key importance for British energy sector. According to deputies, the government has to make sure that all oil companies have plans for cases of oil leaks following an accident. These plans should also be individually adjusted to each oil field.
Iceland´s music icon Björk has organized a karaoke festival as a form of protest against privatization of geothermal energy on Iceland. By organizing such events she wants to inform the public about negatives connected with selling the company HS Orka to the Canadian concern Magma Energy. The Icelandic government has decided to sell HS Orko in 2010 when the country was in a deep economic crisis. HS Orko is the biggest energy company on Iceland.
The trans-Alaska oil pipeline, which is owned and maintained by BP is closed for a second day after finding oil leaks. The problem was found in the concrete part of the pipeline. Oil companies in the North Slope region had to lower their oil production to 5 %.
Tuesday – 11th January 2011
Czech transmission network operator ČEPS plans to invest 2,43 billion Euro until 2023. The main reason for such a big investment program are requirements to connect new energy sources to the network. The finances should also be spent on renovation of the electric lines that were built mainly in the 70´s.
Danish producer of wind turbines Vestas has obtained a supply order in Chine for 25 turbines which should be added to a new wind park. Vestas continues in increasing its export to the Chinese market. Last year its export has reached a record volume after a short period of recession. Apart from China Vestas is also successful on markets in Northern America.
Belarus will increase transport fee for Russian oil flowing to Europe by 12,5 % at the beginning of February 2010. The Belarus ministry of economy states that it has to change the fee due to a change in financial conditions of oil imports from Russia. According to analysts, the step is only a technical solution and should not escalate tensions between Belarus and Russia.
Wednesday – 12th January 2011
European Commission (EC) will press on EU member states in order to improve energy efficiency until 2020. According to José Manuel Barroso, president of EC, the aim to reach EU 20-20-20 is falling out of reach. Furthermore the energy efficiency target is not legally binding. Back in December 2010, the European Parliament has suggested that it should become binding. However, Barroso still insists that the aim of EU in the energy efficiency area can be reached until the deadline in 2020.
Foreign energy investors are threatening Spain that they will leave the country. Their warning came as a reaction to the step taken by the Spanish government in December 2010 when it has decided to retroactively decrease the feed-in-tariff for solar energy sources by 30 %. The investors think this act is against the law.
Estonian National Bank has chosen an unconventional way how to deal with old banknotes after the country entered the Euro zone in January 2011. They will produce paper briquettes from the banknotes and will use them for heating one part of the capital city Talinn.
The extraction industry of USA needs reforming. This result was presented after an inspection of a special commission of the US president Barack Obama that was analysing the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The final report of the commission includes 15 recommendations, among others also an increase in the budget of the federal agency which overviews oil extraction from the seabed. It has also called on the oil industry to create a self-regulatory authority that would enforce companies in meeting the extraction standards. However, the efforts to introduce a reform are meeting with opposition from interests groups focussed around the American Petroleum Institute.
Thursday – 13th January 2011
Czech customers were changing their natural gas suppliers at a record pace in 2010. If compared with 2009, the number was more than threefold higher. Official statistics from last year speak about 85.000 changes of supplier. More than 76.000 were households.
Demonstrations in Chile against a 17 % rise in prices for natural gas have resulted into death of two women. The women died after a car crashed into the two protesters. The reasons behind the accident are still not clarified.
Azerbaijan will double the volume of natural gas supplies to Iran. The two countries have signed an agreement that will be put into force in 2011. Baku is searching for new markets as it wants to decrease its dependency on the Russian market.
Venezuela has the largest oil reserves in the world according to president Hugo Chávez. In December 2010, Venezuelan authorities confirmed that the country has great oilfields around the rivers Orinoco and Venezuela. The verifiable reserves would then reach 253 billion barrels. A part of the expert community says these data are exaggerated.