Substantial advancements in market integration

07.12.2018

Even two positive news for the integration of the European power market have turned up this week. The first comes from the Cross-Border Intraday (XBID) solution. The aim of XBID is to increase the overall efficiency of cross-border trading and intraday coupling. Both are essential for the future European internal energy market. The parties involved in XBID are pleased to confirm that XBID is operating continuously stable and effectively: Since the go-live in June 2018, more than 6.3m trades have been successfully processed.

So far, XBID delivers continuous trading across Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Sweden. The preparations for the second XBID-go-live-wave in 2019 are in full swing and the countries to participate are Bulgaria, Croatia, Czechia, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovenia. Further changes to XBID concern the gate opening hours (GOTs) in accordance with a decision of the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) of April 2018. Revised GOTs apply from 1 January 2019 initially in those capacity calculation regions (CCRs) where the capacity calculation methodology (CCM) has already been approved.

This week also saw the launch of the Single Allocation Platform for long-term capacity allocation at European borders. 28 transmission system operators (TSOs) from 22 European countries have thus taken another significant step towards an integrated power market. The new platform promotes the development of liquid and competitive forward markets all across Europe in a coordinated manner. It provides market participants with the opportunity to hedge against the risks of cross-border trading. The participating TSOs ensure non-discriminatory access for all market participants to long-term cross-zonal capacity at all relevant borders.

With XBID and the Single Allocation Platform, the European power market integration progresses substantially

Linkup
> See Amprion press release (html)
> See TenneT press release, (html)
> See TransnetBW press release (html)
> See TransnetBW news release on allocation platform (html)

See article on single page

ACER consultation on Core Capacity Calculation methodology

04.12.2018

Complex issues require precise phrasing. Therefore the new public consultation of the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) is called: “Public Consultation on the amendments of the proposal for common capacity calculation methodology for the Core region”. The consultation has opened on 4 December and will be accessible until midnight on Christmas Eve. Invited to participate are all interested stakeholders, including regulatory authorities, nominated electricity market operators (NEMOs) and transmission system operators (TSOs).

What exactly is the objective of the survey? The Capacity Calculation Methodology (CCM) quantifies the electrical capacity that can be offered across borders to the day-ahead and intraday markets. The Core CCM is valid within the Core Capacity Calculation Region (CCR), which comprises Austria, Belgium, Croatia, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. The TSOs from the Core CCR – among them are the twelve TSCNET shareholders 50Hertz, Amprion, APG, ČEPS, ELES, HOPS, MAVIR, PSE, SEPS, TenneT, Transelectrica and TransnetBW – have conceived and proposed amendments to the Core CCM.

The competent regulatory authorities of the Core CCR have not yet approved the TSO proposal and asked ACER to decide on whether the modified Core CCM complies with the European Capacity Allocation and Congestion Management (CACM) Regulation. Interested parties are invited to provide feedback on the consultation questions concerning the relevant aspects of the Core CCM.

ACER launches public consultation on the compliance of the Core CCM proposed by the Core TSOs with the European CACM Regulation

Linkup
> See ACER press release (html)
> Direct access to consultation (html)

See article on single page

ACER releases ITC report

02.11.2018

Every year, the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) reviews the implementation of the Inter-Transmission System Operator Compensation (ITC) mechanism on behalf of the European Commission (EC). This also includes the monitoring of the management of the ITC Fund established by the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E). The purpose of this fund is to compensate transmission system operators (TSOs) for the costs incurred as a result of the hosting of cross-border electricity flows.

ACER has now published the ITC report for 2017, in which the Agency concludes that the implementation of the ITC mechanism and the management of the ITC Fund in 2017 continued to comply with the requirements of the relevant European regulation. While the ITC Fund remained relatively stable at €259.35m compared to 2016, the volume of transitory losses increased significantly. However, the increasing impact on the losses component of the ITC Fund was almost fully offset by a notable reduction in the weighted average value of losses for the ITC parties. This average value of 35.36€/MWh was actually the lowest since 2011.

ACER has released its report on the Inter-Transmission System Operator Compensation mechanism in 2017

Linkup
> See ACER press release (html, with access to report)

See article on single page

Get e-codes on your smartphone

23.10.2018

The European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E) presents an appealing new technical feature for anyone taking part or just being interested in the European energy market: The e-codes application for smartphone. With the e-codes app, you get direct access to the articles of all eight European electricity network codes and the respective guidelines.

The European network codes are regulations for facilitating the integration and coordination of European energy markets. They are intended to sweep aside the many obstacles on the road to a well-functioning European Energy Union. The network codes for the electrical system have been developed by ENTSO-E in cooperation with the European Commission and the European Agency for Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER).

The last of the codes came into effect at the end of last year. Hence, it is high time to better involve market participants in code contents and implementation. Beyond the mere access to the code texts, the user of the e-code app has additional options such as tracking the implementation tasks, obtaining implementation deliverables and being informed about anything related to e-codes, e.g. public consultations or events.

ENTSO-E has developed a smartphone application to always keep users up to date with the European electricity network codes

Linkup
> See ENTSO-E press release (html, with download options)
> Watch demonstration video on ENTSO-E’s YouTube channel

See article on single page

Acer decision on fallback procedures for Core CCR

09.10.2018

In March 2018, the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) was asked by the competent regulatory authorities to decide on the amended proposal of the transmission system operators (TSOs) from the Core Capacity Calculation Region (CCR) regarding the Core CCR fallback procedures. In the following August, ACER invited all interested stakeholders to share their views on the issue in a public consultation. After evaluating the survey, ACER has now published its decision on revisions to the methodology for fallback procedures.

The Core CCR consists of sixteen Central European TSOs, twelve of which are TSCNET shareholders: APG (Austria), ČEPS (Czechia), ELES (Slovenia), HOPS (Croatia), MAVIR (Hungary), PSE (Poland), SEPS (Slovakia), Transelectrica (Romania), the Dutch-German TSO TenneT, and the three further TSOs from Germany 50Hertz, Amprion, and TransnetBW. ACER’s decision introduces minimal changes to fallback procedures in order to improve legal clarity and enforceability. Most importantly, instead of five different shadow allocation rules, only a single set of rules is adopted by the Agency, which specifies in its decision to which bidding zone borders these rules apply.

ACER has published its decision on the improvement of the fallback procedures proposed by the TSOs of the Core CCR

Linkup
> See ACER press release (html, with access to decision and consultation results)

See article on single page

Congestion management on Austro-German border

10.09.2018

Congestion management will be introduced on the border between Austria and Germany on 1 October 2018. This go-live date was approved by the competent regulatory authorities at the beginning of September and has now been confirmed by all responsible decision-making bodies of the Nominated Electricity Market Operators (NEMOs) and the affected transmission system operators (TSOs), which are all shareholders of TSCNET: APG from Austria and the four German TSOs 50Hertz, Amprion, TenneT, and TransnetBW.

Electricity exchange between Austria and Germany has increased in recent years. In order to ensure safe operation of transmission systems in Austria, Germany and neighbouring countries, and to reduce congestion management costs, the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) included the introduction of a bidding zone split between Austria and Germany in the new design of the European Capacity Calculation Regions (CCRs). Following successful testing of the systems, the operational procedures as well as the scheduling and nomination processes, the TSOs concerned now will implement this decision.

To ensure safe operation of transmission systems, congestion management will be introduced on Austro-German border on 1 October 2018

See article on single page

ACER consultation on fallback procedures

02.08.2018

The relevant regulatory authorities have asked the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) to review the fallback procedures in the Core Capacity Calculation Region (CCR) with regard to the European Regulation on Capacity Allocation and Congestion Management (CACM). The Core CCR consists of sixteen central European transmission system operators (TSOs), eleven of which are TSCNET shareholders: APG (Austria), ČEPS (Czechia), ELES (Slovenia), HOPS (Croatia), MAVIR (Hungary), PSE (Poland), SEPS (Slovakia), the Dutch-German TSO TenneT, and the three further TSOs from Germany, 50Hertz, Amprion, and TransnetBW.

The Core TSOs prepared an amended proposal for the CCR fallback procedures. ACER now has been given the task of verifying that this proposal complies with the respective guideline on CACM Regulation of the European Union. Since ACER has to adopt a profound decision on this matter, the Agency takes interest in the comments from different parties on some elements of the amended proposal in order to substantiate this decision. The related public consultation is open til 24 August and all interested stakeholders, including regulatory authorities, nominated electricity market operators and TSOs, are invited to submit their comments.

ACER opens public consultation on the compliance of the fallback procedures proposed by the TSOs of the Core CCR with the CACM Regulation.

Linkup
> See ACER press release (html, with access to consultation document)

See article on single page

In court over Third Energy Package

20.07.2018

The European Commission (EC) is referring Germany to the European Court of Justice for failing to comply with the rules for the correct implementation of the Electricity Directive (Directive 2009/72/EC) and of the Gas Directive (Directive 2009/73/EC). Both guidelines include important objectives for the proper functioning of the integral energy market and are part of the Third Energy Package. In the view of the EC, Germany has not ensured full compliance with the powers and independence of the national regulatory authority, the Federal Network Agency (Bundesnetzagentur).

As the “Tagesspiegel Background”, a daily decision-maker newsletter for the energy and climate sector, reports, the success of the lawsuit would mean a huge increase in power for the Bundesnetzagentur and fundamentally change the national network regulations. In fact, the alleged restrictions on regulatory independence in Germany are a crucial factor for the EC, which considers that the Bundesnetzagentur does not have full discretionary power in determining the conditions for network access, network tariffs, or balancing services.

The EC reproach refers to the customary regulatory practice in Germany, in which the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy specifies the respective rules in great detail by means of access and fee ordinances. The “Tagesspiegel Background” assumes that the claim must be seen in the context of a conflict over future network regulation at European level. Here, a decision is pending on the so-called Acer Regulation as part of the “Clean Energy for All Europeans” package. The EC would like to give ACER (Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators) more regulatory competences.

Besides that, Germany’s adherence to the European independent transmission operator (ITO) unbundling model is also subject of criticism. The EC states that it would be “incorrectly transposed into national law”. But the EC is not only targeting Germany, Hungary is also to be sued in the Court of Justice. The EC criticises the legislation on energy network tariffs and believes that Hungarian law infringes the principle of cost-recovery of tariffs by excluding certain types of costs from the tariff calculation. In addition, the EC deplores that the Hungarian energy legislation undermines the market participants’ right to a full judicial review of national regulatory decisions on network tariffs.

The EC is referring Hungary and Germany to the European Court of Justice for failing to comply with the rules of the Third Energy Package.

Linkup
> See EC press release (html)
> Visit Tagesspiegel Background Energy & Climate, in German (html)

See article on single page

EU proposal on capacity calculation criticised

02.02.2018

With the “Clean Energy for All Europeans” package, the European Commision pursues the goal of providing a stable legislative framework for a sustainable European energy future as well as a reliable bundle of regulations for the market players. In December 2017, the Council of the European Union adopted the General Approach on package-related pieces of legislation, including article 14 of the Regulation on the internal market for electricity, which comprises capacity calculation provisions. On 2 February, the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E) has issued a critical statement on the Council proposal.

ENTSO-E fears that Article 14, if implemented, will put the well-functioning of the internal market and the secure operation of the power system at risk. In particular, ENTSO-E criticises the target value for cross-zonal trade that obliges transmission system operators (TSOs) to offer at least 75% of capacities on interconnectors. To achieve this target, the TSOs might have to perform significantly more redispatch measures. Instead of the Council’s approach, ENTSO-E considers regionally differentiated minimum capacity targets more appropriate. In addition, the targets should be based on economic and physical analysis and must allow TSOs to occasionally deviate in favour of system security. On the basis of careful considerations, ENTSO-E calls on policy-makers to rethink the provisions to the benefit of the European electricity market and the consumers.

TSCNET shareholder PSE, the Polish TSO, has released a similar statement already on 18 January. PSE also criticises the capacity calculation provisions of Article 14 and is apprehensive of a further separation of market and system operation as a possible result of the calculation rules. PSE has thoroughly analysed the complex matter and suggests, that the TSOs themselves should define capacity calculation details through research and design activities, supervised by the national regulatory authorities and the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER).

.

Picture: Jennifer Jacquemart / EC-Audiovisual Service

Linkup
> See ENTSO-E press release (html)
> See PSE press release, issued 18 January (html)

See article on single page

ElSeC 2017 turned into great success

18.10.2017

After long and intensive preparations, ElSeC 2017, the highly anticipated Conference on Electricity Security Coordination, yesterday took finally place at the “Literaturhaus” in the very heart of the Bavarian capital of Munich. ElSeC 2017 was hosted by TSCNET Services, the Munich-based Regional Security Coordinator (RSC), and co-organised by ENTSO-E, the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity. The event was attended by nearly 100 leaders from European regulatory and political authorities, security initiatives and – this goes without saying – many different transmission system operators (TSOs).

ElSeC 2017 was organised by TSCNET in cooperation with Realize, one of the leading local event agencies. The conference was moderated by Melinda Crane, an experienced TV anchor, and a frequent guest and commentator on television. Marc Elsberg, the bestselling Austrian author of the disaster thriller “Blackout: Tomorrow Will Be Too Late.” about a power grids collapse across Europe, made a dramatically staged appearance along with – there are no marks for guessing! – a power outage. ElSeC 2017 had a powerful lineup of speakers and speeches:

  1. Welcoming Speech, Maik Neubauer, TSCNET Services, Managing Director
  2. “Our Vision for Europe’s Power System”, Ben Voorhorst, TenneT, Chief Operating Officer, and ENTSO-E President
  3. “Regional Security Coordination – Living the Strategy!”, Joachim Vanzetta, ENTSO-E, Chair System Operations Committee
  4. “Demonstration of Regional Solutions for Grid Security – Renewables Case”, Gerhard Christiner, APG, Chief Technical Officer, and Dirk Biermann, 50Hertz, Chief of Markets and System Operations
  5. “Demonstration of Regional Solutions for Grid Security – Increased Cooperation also in Case of Critical Grid Situations”, Chris Peeters, ELIA Group, Chief Executive Officer, and Jean-François Gahungu, Coreso, Chief Executive Officer
  6. “The full Roll-Out of RSC Services”, Jean-Philippe Paul, RTE, Operation Senior Advisor
  7. “Perspectives on the Institutional Framework – perspectives of the European Commission”, Matti Supponen, European Commission, Directorate-General of Energy
  8. “Perspectives on the Institutional Framework – perspectives of the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators”, Uroš Gabrijel, ACER, System Operation & Grid Connection Network Codes
  9. “Perspectives of the Pentalateral Energy Forum”, Frederik Deloof, Benelux Union, General Secretariat
  10. Panel discussion “The Organisation of the European Power Grid in 2030” with Jens Møller Birkebæk (Nordic Regional Security Coordinator), Frederik Deloof (Benelux Union), Annegret Groebel (Council of European Energy Regulators), Juan José Alba Rios (Chairman Markets Committee, EURELECTRIC), Laurent Schmitt (ENTSO-E, Secretary General), and Matti Supponen (European Commission)
  11. Closing speech, Ben Voorhorst, TenneT, Chief Operating Officer, and ENTSO-E, President

The ElSeC Conference Dinner took place in the “Burger & Lobster Bank“, within close walking distance from the conference location. The evening before ElSeC, all particpants were invited to an Open Evening at the TSCNET premises.

All in all, ElSeC 2017 turned out just as the organisers had hoped for: The atmosphere was relaxed but highly professional, the presentations were intriguing, and the discussions were vivacious and offered plenty of room for both, constructive controversy and productive consensus.

> Visit ElSeC 2017 picture gallery (Flickr, html)
> Visit ElSeC 2017 in retrospect webpage (html)
.

Impressions from the first Conference on Electricity Security Coordination, ElSeC 2017

.

Impressions from the ElSeC 2017 Conference Dinner

.

See article on single page