According to the data of the Office for the Regulation of Network Industries, the share of electricity production from renewable sources - wind power plants in the conditions of the Slovak Republic for the calendar year 2016 in the total electricity consumption was 19.99 %. Of this, wind energy had the lowest share of all sources with an annual amount of electricity produced of only approx. 6,000 MWh - two sources with a total installed capacity of 3.14 MW. In 2002, the usable wind energy potential for Slovakia was set at 600 GWh.
In contrast, according to data from the European wind energy association, the surrounding countries had connected wind sources with a total installed capacity: Czech Republic – 217 MWh, Poland 1,616 MW, Austria – 1,084 MWh, Hungary – 329 MWh and Germany – 29,060 MWh.
Suitable places for the use of wind energy are areas where the average annual wind speed at a measuring height of 10 m is at least 4.0 m/s. In Slovakia, we have approximately 4,300 km2 of areas suitable for the construction of wind power plants. Suitable areas for installing wind power plants are in mountainous areas and lowlands. Currently, a comprehensive map of the whole of Slovakia has not been drawn up, but the Slovak Hydrometeorological Institute can provide specific data on weather conditions when determining the suitability of a given location.
Directive of the Ministry of the Environment of the Slovak Republic dated April 21, 2010 no. 3/2010 -4.1., which establishes standards and limits for the location of wind power plants and wind parks on the territory of the Slovak Republic (hereinafter referred to as "Directive"), divides the territory of the Slovak Republic into three categories depending on the suitable potential for the placement of wind power plants: (i) suitable areas, (ii) conditionally suitable areas and (iii) unsuitable areas. The construction of wind turbines is excluded on the territories of national parks and within the reach of the main migration routes and the occurrence of rare bird species. In addition to suitable wind conditions, a decisive factor for the construction of a wind park is the possibility of connection to the distribution network, not encroaching on protected landscape areas and the fragmentation of the population of individual areas.
Construction of energy equipment
Before the actual construction of the wind power plant, the power plant investor is obliged to request an assessment of the proposed activity by the Ministry of the Environment of the Slovak Republic (Environmental Impact Assessment - EIA process). Pursuant to Annex no. 8 of the Environmental Impact Assessment Act, wind power plants are subject to assessment without limit.
Furthermore, according to § 12 of the Energy Act, electric power equipment can only be built on the basis of a certificate on the construction of an energy equipment (hereinafter referred to as the "certificate"). The certificate is the basis for zoning proceedings and construction proceedings as well as a document for the application for connection to the transmission system or distribution system. The need for a certificate, just as with a permit to do business in the energy sector, is conditional on the total installed power exceeding 1 MW.
The certificate is issued by the Ministry of Economy of the Slovak Republic on the basis of a positive opinion of Slovenská elektrizačná a prenosová sústava, a.s. (hereinafter referred to as "SEPS"). The Ministry of Economy of the Slovak Republic will not issue a certificate to the applicant who does not submit a positive opinion of SEPS to his application.
As mentioned above, the Ministry of Economy of the Slovak Republic will only issue certificates for the construction of an energy facility based on the approval opinion of SEPS. In the case of equipment with a power of more than 1 MW, an approval statement from the URSO is also required.
The result of the large increase in installed capacity in connection with photovoltaic power plants was the position of SEPS as the operator of the transmission system and the entity responsible for maintaining a balanced balance between the consumption and production of electricity in the Slovak Republic in real time, which, based on the conclusions and recommendations of independent studies, own analyzes and assessments of the overall situation , issued an opinion in July 2010 that it will stop issuing positive opinions until the end of 2011 on applications for the issuance of a certificate necessary for the construction of a facility for the production of electricity from solar energy or wind energy.
The reason is that “the amount of installed power greatly exceeds the limit of installed power of sources with high fluctuation of production, which according to SEPS as well as according to the recommendations of independent studies, was absorbable by the electricity system of the Slovak Republic. According to SEPS, this situation could have reached a very serious state, because, especially in the summer, it could cause complex operating regimes in the electrification system of the Slovak Republic from the point of view of its dispatch management, or ensuring a balanced balance between electricity consumption and production in real time. In the summer period, it was necessary to expect the maximum production of solar energy at the same time as the expected lowest load/consumption of electricity in the Slovak Republic during this period. Since the compulsory purchase of electricity produced from solar energy is guaranteed by legislation, regulation of the production of these sources is not possible, and the balance of the technological mix of sources deployed in the electrification system of the Slovak Republic will probably result in a forced limitation of deployment, or production of other sources of electricity. Maintaining a balanced balance between consumption and production of electricity in Slovakia in real time would be extremely difficult, especially in the summer. The fluctuation of solar energy production must be regulated by other technologies of electricity sources, especially fossil sources. It was also necessary to significantly combine the situation with the existing reality in the already built and used sources of electricity in the territory of the Slovak Republic. Production surpluses in the summer period are very difficult to realize by export, because in this period there are high surpluses of installed power in all surrounding systems. With a high probability, there would therefore be a forced limitation of the production of the very sources of electricity that are necessary for the regulation of immediate changes and fluctuations in production caused mainly by the influence of solar energy. Distribution companies are then forced - in accordance with the current legislation - to preferentially purchase production from solar energy, which may result in the displacement of the possibility of operating fossil, nuclear, and possibly water sources of electricity.”
In November 2012, SEPS issued a notice according to which “is not possible until the end of 2016, or until the period of further increase of the transmission capacity on the profile Slovakia - Hungary, to consider the further construction of RES. Also, until the period of the further increase of the transmission capacity on the profile Slovakia - Hungary, it should be very seriously assessed what sources of electricity other than RES should be allowed to be built on the territory of the Slovak Republic, apart from the 3rd and 4th blocks of Mochoviec already under construction".
Few areas of business have such frequently changed legislative conditions as renewable energy sources. The market for electricity from RES was primarily in the sector of solar power plants in 2010 and in the first half of 2011 a rapidly growing market with a short payback period.
The situation in the energy sector and in the field of RES is largely dependent on the currently valid legislation (political decision-making) and has been significantly influenced by state interventions in the recent period. The construction of new energy facilities using wind energy on a scale at least approaching that of the surrounding countries is currently unfeasible, primarily due to the currently negative opinion of SEPS and the subsequent impossibility of obtaining a certificate from the Ministry of Health of the Slovak Republic.
JUDr. Matej Slezák