ENTSO-E Annual Report 2019 released

01.08.2020

For transmission system operators (TSOs), Regional Security Coordinators (RSCs), and other players in the energy market alike, last year was marked above all by the entry into force of the EU “Clean Energy for all Europeans Package” (CEP). Actually, the TSOs and the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E) were still in the process of implementing the Third Energy Package, but work on meeting the requirements of the CEP has already commenced in 2019.

This is also reflected in the recently published ENTSO-E Annual Report 2019, which describes activities related to the legal mandates given to ENTSO-E. The report divides these activities into seven chapters: 1. System Operation; 2. Market; 3. System Development; 4. Transparency Regulation; 5. Research, Development and Innovation; 6. Cybersecurity, Interoperability and Data; 7. TSO-DSO partnership and demand side flexibility.

Prior to its release, the Annual Report was subject to a public consultation with stakeholders from 22 June to 20 July 2020, whereupon the comments received were taken into account and the Annual Report was submitted to the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER).

ENTSO-E has published its Annual Report 2019 (picture: ENTSO-E)

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> See ENTSO-E press release (html)
> Visit ENTSO-E Annual Report 2019 site (html)
> Open Annual Report 2019 (pdf, 6.7MB)

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Amprion: Transformation everywhere

25.06.2020

On 24 June, the German transmission system operator (TSO) Amprion presented its Annual Report 2019, due to the corona pandemic, this time as live stream instead of a press conference. The TSCNET shareholder not only reported on its financial figures and innovative concepts – such as Eurobar for offshore integration – but also announced investments of €15bn for achieving the company’s ambitious goals. To this end, Amprion intends to become active on the capital market.

The financial background for the demanding investment plans is excellent: In 2019, TSO was able to increase its revenue by a good four percent to €14.4bn and its net profit by over eight percent to €220m. “We plan to invest €15bn over the next ten years. That means the volume will triple,” stated Amprion’s CFO Peter Rüth during the presentation livestream. As far as capital market activities are concerned, Rüth expects to issue the first bonds in the middle to end of 2021. However, as Dr Hans-Jürgen Brick, CEO of Amprion, explains, the success of the plans also depends on the regulatory environment and the level of remuneration for grid operation.

Amprion recognises its specific responsibility to ensure a climate friendly, secure, and efficient energy system. The TSO’s innovation and infrastructure projects are a contribution to the sustainable transformation of the European energy landscape while maintaining security of supply. In connection with the presentation of the report, Amprion also introduced its new brand identity and new brand claim: “Amprion connects” (“Amprion verbindet” in German). The claim represents the changed self-perception: “We are paving the way for a climate-compatible energy system – and combine this with our responsibility for a stable and secure grid,” comments Dr Brick.

Amprion has presented its Annual Report 2019 and announced investments of €15bn over the next ten years (picture: Amprion)

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> Visit Amprion Annual Report website (html)
> Open Annual Report 2019 (pdf, 828kB)
> Open Annual Report Magazine (pdf, 11.04MB)
> Visit Eurobar website with live stream recording, in German (html)

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ČEPS: Nearly 200km of new or upgraded lines

24.04.2020

Mid spring is the time to report on the previous business year and the Czech transmission system operator (TSO) ČEPS is no exception in this respect. The TSCNET shareholder looks back on a very solid year with impressive figures: The total volume of electricity at transmission system output in 2019 amounted to 66,447GWh. The maximum transmission grid load of 11,895MW was registered on 24 January and the minimum load of 4,831MW on 4 August.

ČEPS’ successful financial year 2019 is reflected in a profit of about CZK4,04bn (€146.5m) before taxes, which is a significant increase compared to 2018 (CZK3.8bn). This profit is partly due to the export orientation of the Czech TSO in terms of international collaboration. Martin Durčák, Chairman of the Board of Directors of ČEPS, explains: “The Czech export balance amounted to -13,097GWh of electricity. Financial results from commercial activities, particularly from auctions for cross-border capacities and the ITC mechanism, contributed to the profit before tax by approximately a third.”

The good financial result allowed the TSO to invest substantially in the future viability of the Czech transmission system: In 2019, ČEPS invested a total of round CZK5,14bn (€186.4m) in the transmission infrastructure. Nearly 200km of 400kV lines were newly constructed or upgraded. The strong business performance of ČEPS, reflected in robust and predictable cash flow, transparency, and a strong financial profile, is widely recognised. In November 2019, the rating agency Moody’s raised ČEPS’s rating to Aa3 with a stable outlook.

ČEPS looks back on a successful business year 2019 (edited picture of ČEPS’ Sokolnice substation in the Brno-Country District by RomanM82, Creative Commons, Wikimedia)

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> See ČEPS press release (html)

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Swissgrid: Solid figures to promote innovation

23.04.2020

The primary content of the Annual Report 2019 just published by the Swiss transmission system operator (TSO) Swissgrid is summarised by Yves Zumwald, CEO of the TSCNET shareholder, as follows: “In a challenging year, Swissgrid laid the foundation to successfully meet the challenges of the energy future in Switzerland and in Europe.” These foundations include the expansion of the grid even against possible resistance, the strengthening of international cooperation despite the absence of an electricity agreement with the EU and the innovative further development of the electricity market. “Thanks to the fantastic effort and commitment of all employees, we can look back upon a successful year,” concludes Zumwald.

The implementation of the “Strategy 2022” for the reorganisation of the Swissgrid corporate structure to further increase efficiency within the company made good progress in 2019 – just like the grid extension measures according to the company’s ambitious plan “Strategic Grid 2025”, even if complaints sometimes delayed implementation. Projects worth mentioning in this respect include the grid extension works in the Swiss canton of Valais which are important for transporting energy from hydropower to the consumption centres of Switzerland or the progress made in Central Switzerland with the 380kV line between Beznau and Birr. This line is partially laid underground, representing the very first time that part of an extra-high voltage line in Switzerland has been realised by underground cables: Twelve cables with a weight of 30 tonnes each were installed in the summer.

In terms of key financial figures, the company’s net profit rose slightly year-on-year to CHF66.7m (€63.38m), while earnings before interest and taxes amounted to CHF102.4m (€97.31m), representing a decline of 14.2%, due to lower invested operating assets and the higher net surplus in volume- and tariff-related time differences. Looking ahead to the 2020 business year and beyond, high annual investments will continue to be required due to lengthy approval processes, especially regarding grid extension or modernisation. Swissgrid assumes a medium-term planning horizon of grid investments of approximately CHF150m (€152.54m) to CHF200m (€190.1m) annually.

Concerning innovation in the ancillary services market and market integration, the Swiss TSO will continue to develop the market platform on which requested products for frequency regulation and international redispatch are combined. To compensate for frequency fluctuations due to increasingly volatile energy generation, Swissgrid is preparing the “Crowd Balancing Platform” for the control energy market, a pilot project aimed at the use of storage technologies in the field of primary control energy. The “Crowd Balancing Platform” is based on block chain technology and the internet of things. The Dutch-German TSO and further TSCNET shareholder TenneT has already verified the technical feasibility of such processes. Now Swissgrid, TenneT and the Italian TSO Terna have formed a consortium for the European use of this technology, the potential of which Swissgrid will investigate in a pilot project in Switzerland. The project will start in the summer of 2020 and run until the end of the year.

Swissgrid reports solid results in its Annual Report 2019 (picture: Swissgrid)

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> See Swissgrid media release (html)
> Open Annual Report 2019 (pdf, 1.6MB)

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“Record share of fluctuating power from sun and wind”

22.04.2020

All the significant figures, data, and facts are to be found in the Annual Report 2019 of TSCNET shareholder 50Hertz, which just has been presented by the transmission system operator (TSO) from North-East Germany. The report is entitled “We Create Stability” and was published together with the Sustainability Report for 2019. The 140-page document contains a wealth of information about the company’s vision for a successful energy transition in a sustainable world.

In numerous articles and graphics, complex correlations are presented concisely and transparently. Particularly noteworthy is the 60% share of renewable energies in electricity consumption in the 50Hertz control area. The TSO’s ecological responsibility was reflected last year in 768 ecological compensation measures as well as 116 hectares of ecological corridor management. But also economically, the year was successful for 50Hertz, and the company’s growth is confirmed by the 135 new colleagues that the TSO welcomed in 2019. To pursue its sustainable path, 50Hertz plans to invest €4.2bn in the grid infrastructure by 2025.

The report also features profound interviews with senior executives, including 50Hertz CEO-Stefan Kapferer and Chris Peeters, CEO of the Elia Group and Chairman of the Board of Directors of 50Hertz, providing in-depth insights into the business areas of the TSO. Topics such as sustainable financing, system stability, digitisation of markets and system management, connection of offshore wind farms or investments in grids and substations are all being addressed. An outlook on the energy system in 2030 concludes the 50Hertz Annual Report.

50Hertz has presented its Annual and Sustainability Report 2019 (picture: 50Hertz)

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> See 50Hertz press release, in German (html)
> Open the 50Hertz Annual and Sustainability Report, in German (pdf, 4.54MB)
> Visit the 50Hertz Annual and Sustainability Report website, in German (online flip book)

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TenneT creates, invests and researches for the energy future

12.03.2020

Promoting the energy transition is a priority objective of TSCNET shareholder TenneT, the Dutch-German transmission system operator (TSO). This is clearly reflected in the TSO’s just-published Integrated Annual Report. As in recent years, the Annual Report is accompanied by the Green Finance Report 2019.

In line with the energy policy and climate goals of the Netherlands and Germany, TenneT increased its investments yet again in 2019 and spent €3.1bn on the energy transition and supply security (grid availability of 99.9998% in 2019). This financial commitment is even to be stepped up: TenneT is planning annual investments of €4bn to €5bn for the future. The financial performance of the company, with revenues of €4.1bn in 2019 and an EBIT (excluding special effects) of €753m, supports these ambitious plans. Manon van Beek, CEO of TenneT, has every reason to be content with the sound development of the TSO: “We have made great strides again in pursuing our ambition to achieve a sustainable energy future for everyone. Not only in realising and developing new onshore and offshore connections, but also by the required far-reaching international cooperation and working on innovations in close coordination with relevant stakeholders.”

As regards offshore connections, TenneT has already exceeded in 2019 the German government’s expansion target for offshore wind power capacity in the North and Baltic Sea, which is 6.5GW for 2020. With last year’s commissioning of BorWin 3, TenneT’s ninth offshore grid connection system in DC technology, the TSO now has a total of twelve offshore grid connections in operation (nine in DC and three in AC technology) with a total capacity of 7.1GW. But TenneT is not resting on its successes to date: The connection systems DolWin5, DolWin6, and BorWin5 are being developed and will increase the offshore transmission capacity provided by TenneT for wind farms in the German North Sea to almost 10GW by 2025. In addition, Borssele Alpha, TenneT’s first offshore connection system in AC technology in the Dutch North Sea, was installed on schedule and is now ready for operation. Borssele Beta will be completed in 2020.

Onshore, TenneT has eight transmission lines under construction in Germany, more than ever before. In the Netherlands, the 60km-long Randstad 380kV North Ring power line was put into operation, reliably supplying Europe’s most densely populated area with electricity and providing transmission capacity for green energy. At European level, the “green” COBRAcable deserves special mention, which since 2019 directly connects the Dutch and Danish markets for the first time. The German and Norwegian markets will also be directly connected by the NordLink cable, which is currently under construction. On top of this, a proof-of-concept for the North Sea Wind Power Hub has shown the technical feasibility of the concept of multiple wind power distribution hubs in the North Sea.

All these grid expansion projects are complemented by innovative solutions and intensive research to better utilise TenneT’s existing transmission system. These include vehicle-to-grid pilots, the deployment of home storage systems in grid stabilisation and digital solutions for higher grid utilisation. Another long-term innovation project is Element One, a 100MW electrolysis plant to be built in Germany to promote an integrated energy system.

TenneT presents Integrated Annual Report 2019 and Green Finance Report 2019 (picture: TenneT)

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> See TenneT press release (html)
> Visit Integrated Annual Report 2019 site (html)
> Direct access to the report download (html)
> Open Green Finance Report 2019 (pdf, 802.38kB)

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50Hertz: More renewables, less redispatch

10.03.2020

For 50Hertz, the transmission system operator (TSO) from the north-east of Germany, the 2019 business year was successful in two respects: More renewable power than ever before was transmitted by 50Hertz. At the same time, fewer and fewer redispatch measures were required for congestion management. This of course also means that the TSCNET shareholder was able to continuously reduce its redispatch costs.

At the 50 Hertz annual media conference in the German capital of Berlin, the TSO presented the following figures: A total of around 60TWh of renewable energy was fed into the grid, mainly generated by wind and sun. This once again set a record in the 50Hertz control area, where renewable energies already cover up to 60% of the average annual electricity demand. In congestion management, 50Hertz was able to reduce the throttled energy volumes from 4TWh in 2018 to only 2.5TWh in 2019 and cut redispatch costs from €134m to €84m.

Stefan Kapferer, CEO of 50Hertz, commented on the TSO’s success: “The north-east of Germany continues to evolve into a ‘green power plant’ of the energy transition in Germany. Even with a constantly growing share of wind and solar power in the grid, we keep the costs under control. With regard to the time after the exit from coal- and lignite-fired generation, we stand for the security of the power system and create the necessary preconditions.”

50Hertz keeps on creating the technical conditions for future success and is making good progress in grid optimisation, reinforcement and expansion. Last year, the offshore grid connection Ostwind 1 was officially commissioned. In addition, 50Hertz lines and substations have been reinforced. To improve the prognosis of grid losses, artificial intelligence (AI) is used in the 50Hertz grid. All this is not possible without sustained financial commitment. Thanks to consistently good business performance – annual result 2019: €178m (2018: €238m) – the TSO will significantly increase its infrastructure investments: In the period 2020 to 2024, investments will grow by €1.1bn to €4.2bn compared to the time span 2015 to 2019.

50Hertz presents impressive figures for 2019 and announces increased investments (picture of Kerstin Maria Rippel, Head of Communications & Public Affairs at 50Hertz, 50Hertz CEO Stefan Kapferer, 50Hertz CFO Marco Nix, and Chris Peeters, CEO of Elia Group: 50Hertz / Jan Pauls)

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Investing for the energy future

27.06.2019

TSCNET shareholder Amprion, one of the four German transmission system operators (TSOs), presents its Annual Report 2018 on a specially designed website. What, from a TSO’s perspective, is most necessary for the successful energy transition in Germany – the sustainable expansion of the transmission system so that green electricity can be provided nationwide – is clearly reflected in Amprion’s figures for 2018: Amprion further increased its investments in grid extension, which amounted to €763m in 2018 and were 8.5% higher than in the previous year.

However, it is not sufficient for TSOs alone to fulfil their role, especially as grid extension needs to be accelerated significantly to keep pace with the expansion of the renewables. Politics must also help by setting the right course to promote the cross-sector transformation of the energy system. Amprion therefore calls for a national master plan for electricity and gas. Dr. Klaus Kleinekorte, CTO at Amprion, explains: “It is not enough just to connect renewable energies to the grid. From our system responsibility, we have the task of integrating them into the energy system.” This requires innovative concepts and technologies such as power-to-gas.

Dr. Hans-Jürgen Brick, Chief Commercial Officer and CFO of Amprion, adds at the company’s annual press conference in the German capital of Berlin, that the expansion of the electricity system as outlined in the German Network Development Plan remains the indispensable basis for achieving the climate targets and the secure and cost-effective power supply of the German conurbations. “Amprion is thus investing more than €9.3bn in its grid over the next ten years.”

Amprion presents Annual Report 2018 (picture: Amprion)

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> See Amprion press release, in German (html)
> Visit Annual Report 2018 site, in German (html, with download options)

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50Hertz yearbook shows top score in renewables

07.06.2019

In its Yearbook 2018, the TSCNET shareholder 50Hertz has compiled on 105 informative and concise pages everything worth knowing about last year’s key figures, activities, infrastructure developments, market assessments, sustainability objectives and much more. For the current report, the transmission system operator (TSO) from North-East Germany has chosen a heading that fits the company’s philosophy: “Setting the pace for a successful energy transition”.

An outstanding yearbook figure is the regenerative share of 56.5% with which 50Hertz has confirmed its pioneering role in the integration of renewable energies in Central Europe. A share of 65% by 2030, the official government target in Germany, is thus already within reach. For its low-carbon future goals, the TSO relies on innovative concepts such as the flexibility platform of the WindNODE project, a digital procurement system designed to reduce the throttling of wind turbines in the event of grid bottlenecks.

Sustainable action and social commitment are entrepreneurial principles for 50Hertz. To provide information on this, the Yearbook also contains a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) report. The CSR Report complies with the strict sustainability reporting standards of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and is supplemented by the launch of the company’s own sustainability website.

50Hertz presents its Yearbook 2018 and launches CSR website (picture showing 50Hertz employees working at the Arkona offshore transformer station: 50Hertz / Jan Pauls)

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> See 50Hertz press release (html)
> Download 50Hertz Yearbook 2018, in German (pdf, 9.08MB)
> Visit the 50Hertz CSR website, in German (html)

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ČEPS: Solid finances and major investments

15.04.2019

The high revenues from cross-border capacity auctions and the higher than expected earnings from system services and transit flows were the main contributors to the successful business year 2018 of TSCNET shareholder ČEPS, the Czech transmission system operator (TSO). The company’s profit of CZK3.307bn (about €129m) before tax represents an increase of 14% in comparison to 2017. The total amount of energy transmitted through the Czech high-voltage grid has risen to 65,825 GWh, with a peak load of 11.964MW in February 2018.

ČEPS has also maintained its high level of investment: The TSO expended more than CZK3.8bn (about €148m) in the further development and modernisation of its transmission system. The most important ongoing investment projects include European Projects of Common Interest (PCIs) like the new 400kV double circuit line from Kočín in southern Bohemia to the Mírovka substation near Havlíčkův Brod in the Bohemian-Moravian Highlands, or the interconnections between the 420kV substations at Vernéřov (Karlovy Vary Region), Vítkov (Moravian-Silesian Region), and Přeštice (Plzeň Region).

Also worth mentioning are the modernisation and expansion of the Kočín substation, which is an important node of the transmission network and due to be completed in 2023, the start of construction for the modernisation of the Horní Životice substation in the Moravian-Silesian region and finish of upgrading the gas-insulated, metal-enclosed Chodow substation in Prague. These and other projects are part of the TSO’s long-term investment programme, the implementation of which is made possible by ČEPS’s stable financial position, strict cost control and good financial performance.

ČEPS reports on the successful business year (edited picture of construction work at Vítkov substation by Lubor Ferenc, Creative Commons, Wikimedia)

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> See ČEPS press release (html)

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