Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 01/26/2013 -- Thanks to anticipated subdued demand growth during 2012/13, coupled with some supply expansion, Slovakia should reduce further its net power import requirement. The growth in nuclear capacity from around 2013/14 should also diminish the country's reliance on imported gas as a fuel for power generation, and Slovakia will also scale back the use of coal and oil.
Unlike many countries in the wake of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami in February 2011, Slovakia appears to have few reservations over its reliance on nuclear power generation. It has limited options, with the closure of elderly reactors requiring the near-term start-up of new nuclear plants.
Key trends and developments in the Slovak electricity market:
- Italian utility company Enel is committed to investing US$3.8bn in Slovakia's power sector. The majority will go towards the Mochove nuclear power plant, which is estimated to cost US$3.58bn. Two new nuclear power reactors, known as Muchove 3 and 4, are expected to be completed by 2014 and will add 880 megawatts (MW) of capacity.
- During the period 2012-2021, Slovakia's overall power generation is expected to increase by an annual average of just 0.7%, reaching 29.0 terawatt hours (TWh). Average annual gains of 0.4% and 2.4% in gas-fired and nuclear generation respectively will drive this growth, with supply from non-hydro renewables to grow by almost 10.6% per annum.
- Following a forecast 2.0% increase in real GDP in 2012, BMI forecasts average annual growth of 3.1% between 2012 and 2021. The population is expected to rise only slightly, from 5.5mn in 2012 to 5.6mn in 2021, with net power consumption looking set to increase from 26.6 terrawatt hours (TWh) to 27.9TWh. During the period, the average annual growth rate for electricity demand is forecast at just 0.5%, but with risk on the upside as the economic climate improves.
- Thanks partly to the forecast rise in net generation, growth of which exceeds the underlying demand trend, Slovakia's power supply shortfall should decline steadily. A lower percentage of transmission and distribution losses will help strengthen the market. The net import requirement could have been eradicated by 2016 and could be transformed into potential net exports of more than 0.6TWh by the end of the forecast period if capacity is expanded in line with forecasts.
- Average electricity prices for all customer segments in the Slovak Republic are above those of many regional peers. In May 2012, according to data from the European Energy Portal, the average household electricity price (3,500 kilowatt hours (kWh) per annum consumption) in Slovakia was EUR0.1677/kWh compared with EUR0.1488/kWh in Poland, EUR0.1480/kWh in the Czech Republic, EUR0.2541/kWh in Germany, EUR0.1708/kWh in Hungary, EUR0.2031/kWh in Italy and EUR0.1419/kWh in the UK.
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