Ensuring Georgia has enough electricity for its citizens

As Georgia’s demand for electricity grows, so does its need for an adequate electricity supply. The EU-funded project: Support to Georgian State Electrosystem in implementing new sector regulations is helping the country meet this need.

Launched in 2019, the 18-month project is helping the national transmission system operator Georgian State Electrosystem (GSE) to provide a stable and secure energy supply to its citizens. The project is also ensuring that the energy market sector adheres to EU best practices and the Energy Community Treaty.

A lack of consistent power

Currently, there is a so-called ‘seasonal variation’ in Georgia’s hydropower as well as a lack of reservoir storage capacity to counter this variation. This results in a lack of constant capacity in the winter, meaning GSE is unable to meet demand through local generation. This also sees Georgia being forced to rely on electricity imports from neighbouring countries such as Azerbaijan and Russia. And these imports may not always be beneficial and reliable.

“Georgia has signed some electricity exchange agreements with neighbouring countries, but it is not always clear if electricity imports will be available in times of need,” explains Nikos Tsakalidis, Team Leader of the EU project. “This is because these neighbouring countries may be experiencing electricity shortages themselves due to accidents, weather or other unforeseen circumstances.”

Addressing demand and supply

How power generation matches consumption on the grid is assessed through Generation Adequacy – a key tool to assess security of supply in an electrical system. Adequacy assessments, meanwhile, monitor whether available supply and transmission capacities are sufficient to meet demand under various conditions and if not, what the associated risks are. The electricity system is deemed ‘adequate’ if there is sufficient capacity to meet consumption via generation, imports, storage and demand-side management.

In addition, a Generation Adequacy assessment is crucial for energy consumers because it seeks to show whether electricity supply will remain secure and be available as required. This analysis also eases energy supply planning and energy delivery, while avoiding any over investment, which inevitably results in higher energy prices. The generation capacity also needs to be assessed to avoid over-capacity in the summer months and to encourage investment.

Cutting edge methodology

“A coherent methodology to assess generation adequacy is vital for GSE to perform adequacy assessments,” maintains Mr. Nikos Tsakalidis, Team Leader of the Project. 

To this end, the project team developed a state-of-the-art ‘Adequacy Methodology’, which is based on the latest ENTSO-E requirements and is also in line with the EU Clean Energy package legislation. The methodology takes into account the variability of power from renewable energy, which can be unpredictable as it involves weather-related variables such as wind, sun and rain. It should be noted that the number of wind and solar power plants is on the rise in Georgia with estimates showing that 18% of its power will come from these sources by 2030.

The methodology also considers the length of adequacy forecasts. Such forecasts can be short term in order to support operational decisions, but they can also be mid to longer term in order to assist lawmakers with important grid infrastructure investment decisions.

This methodology also forms part of Georgia’s new security of supply rules, which were also developed under the project. It is expected that the government will adopt these rules this coming September.

Training and study visits

Beyond developing this methodology, the project has organised several training events for GSE experts as well as practical workshops, during which how the proposed adequacy methodology applies to Georgia was presented. In addition, a study visit to German system operator 50 Hertz took place in July 2019, in which GSE experts learned all there is to know about adequacy assessments from their German counterparts.

The EU-funded project: ‘’Support to Georgian State Electrosystem in implementation of new energy sector regulations in Georgia’’ was launched in March 2019 and lasts for 1.5 years. The project is implemented by EGI (Germany) and LDK (Greece). The project aims to help GSE make the necessary electricity market reforms in full compliance with the EU acquis.

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