Publications on HDVC reliability and the balancing market

13.12.2018

The European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E) has adopted positions on two systemically relevant topics for the European energy market: the electricity balancing market and the improvement of high-voltage direct current (HVDC) system reliability. Two respective papers have been released by ENTSO-E. The first, a balancing guideline, gives a simplified overview of the target model of the European balancing energy market and explains the most important concepts and processes associated with this market and the platforms for the exchange of balancing energy products. In addition to the focus on the interaction of the different balancing processes, the legal framework of the target model is also briefly outlined.

In its position paper on HDVC reliability, ENTSO-E recognises HDVC as an increasingly important method of transmitting large quantities of electrical energy for the Europe-wide transmission grid. As new HVDC connections play a key role in the future development of the continental transmission system, the reliability, availability, compatibility and robustness of the technology will be crucial for market and system security. For future challenges, high system security and the needs of an efficient European integrated market, it is essential that the owners of HVDC installations, together with other relevant HVDC stakeholders, focus not only on technology innovation but also on further process development, HVDC network integration studies and the maintainability to be carried out by transmission system operators (TSOs). ENTSO-E strongly supports more efficient cooperation between all HDVC players.

ENTSO-E has released a European electricity balancing guideline as well as a position paper on improving the reliability of HVDC systems  (picture of HVDC Plus IGBT converter modules: Siemens AG, www.siemens.com/presse)

Linkup
> See ENTSO-E press release on balancing market (html)
> Open Balancing Guideline (pdf, 892.3kB)
> See ENTSO-E press release on HDVC reliability (html)
> Open HDVC paper (pdf, 1.8MB)

See article on single page

Satellite technology for grid optimisation

30.11.2018

Power lines run above and below the ground or also under the sea – hence, the business of the European transmission and distribution system operators (TSOs and DSOs) tends to be ground-based. Sometimes, however, a glimpse into the sky might inspire us to find new approaches to make the European power system even more efficient and reliable in the future.

This is perhaps how representatives of the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E) and the European Distribution System Operators Association (EDSO) have come to the question of how satellite applications can support the European power grid and its evolution. Anyway, together with the European Space Agency (ESA) the two operator organisations have entered on 29 November into a cooperation on the deployment of satellite technology for grid optimisation.

The cooperation will be implemented through ESA’s Business Applications programme, designed to support the development of new services using data from space assets. Satellite applications can support power grids in many areas, e.g. facilities management, two-way communication between smart meters and operators, prediction of consumption or generation peaks, development of Internet-of-Things related services, or the use of virtual power plants.

Nick Appleyard, Head of ESA’s Business Applications Department, highlights the potential of satellite communication for the allocation of renewable energy generation volumes and grid balancing. Laurent Schmitt, Secretary General of ENTSO-E, agrees and sees “opportunities to enhance real-time grid management through using available space technologies”. Mr Schmitt concludes: “This cooperation will identify business cases where both sectors can support each other and deliver benefits for the European consumer.”

ENTSO-E, EDSO and ESA enter into cooperation on the deployment of satellite technology for grid optimisation (picture: ESA)

Linkup
> See ENTSO-E press release (html)

See article on single page

Winter 2018/19: supply largely secured – monitoring required

28.11.2018

Where are congestions most likely to occur? What are the most important risks to the stability of the pan-European electrical transmission system and supply security in the upcoming winter? As every year, the Winter Outlook 2018/2019 – the supply security forecast of the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E) – tries to answer these and other significant questions as validly as possible in order to provide a reliable risk assessment for the next European electricity winter.

Good news first: The risks to the security of supply in the approaching cold season are moderate and supply is secured under normal conditions. Nevertheless, close monitoring is required in the event of cold spells. ENTSO-E pays particular attention to an area including Belgium, France, northern Italy, central northern Italy and Slovenia, which is partly due to unforeseen and delayed maintenance of production units in Belgium. In particular in January and February, monitoring will be necessary in the event of outages in connection with low wind and solar energy generation.

The Winter Outlook considers a number of factors that are relevant to safety analysis, such as hydro reservoirs, gas supply and changes in generation. This year’s edition reveals that the decline in conventional generation is persisting, while the increase in installed renewable generation capacity is higher than last winter. As usual, ENTSO-E presents the Winter Outlook together with an overview of the events of previous summer, that was characterised by far above-average temperatures, especially in northern and eastern Europe. This led to some local electricity supply disruptions in the Czech Republic, Croatia and Greece.

ENTSO-E has released the Winter Outlook 2018/2019, a consistent analysis of EU-wide risks to supply security

Linkup
> See ENTSO-E press release (html)
> Open Winter Outlook 2018/2019 (pdf, 5.23MB)

See article on single page

TSOs support ENTSO-E to prevent frequency deviations

13.11.2018

The Continental European (CE) Power System which comprises the synchronised transmission grids of 25 countries has been subject to occasional deviations from the 50Hz mid-frequency since late 2017. Each time the deviations originated from the Serbia, Macedonia, Montenegro (SMM) control block, specifically from the control areas of Kosovo and Serbia – an example of how a regional conflict in an interconnected system can have pan-European impacts. The European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E) has consistently undertaken efforts to find a political solution to the problem, and the CE transmission system operators (TSOs) have pledged their support in addition to the technical measures they are implementing anyway to limit the deviations.

Obviously, the problem is not only an issue for ENTSO-E and its members, but also of interest to the general public. It needs to be solved in order to keep the system consistently stable, to avoid further time deviations in electronically controlled watches, to limit financial effects, and ultimately to avoid a potential blackout in Europe. Considering the next winter period, this should happen in the short term. ENTSO-E is therefore in close and continuous exchange with the two responsible TSOs, EMS from Serbia and KOSTT from Kosovo, and has the task of facilitating a solution between the TSOs.

ENTSO-E’s Regional Group CE, which represents all transmission system operators of the 25 countries in the CE synchronous area, voted last week on a proposal to put an end to the deviations. The suggestion aims to provide a basis for a transitional solution and does not impose a principle on either of the two TSOs. ENTSO-E’s proposal was widely supported by the TSOs, although the work-in-progress version of the operational principles could not be approved. ENTSO-E continues its discussions with EMS and KOSTT.

The continental European TSOs support ENTSO-E in preventing further frequency deviations in the synchronised European power system (picture: photo composition using screenshots of Swissgrid’s frequency monitor and a press picture from Swissgrid)

Linkup
> See ENTSO-E press release (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

Smart TSO-DSO cooperation continues

24.10.2018

The energy transition entails many changes for the energy industry, such as the increasing generation of decentralised and volatile renewables, new actors on the market like aggregators, or the active role of customers ‒ all these developments require flexibility and pose a challenge for every player in the energy market, but above all for those responsible for a stable grid and a secure electricity supply: transmission system operators (TSOs) and distribution system operators (DSOs) sharing similar obligations and interests.

To cope with the demanding future tasks, network operators need a common vision of active system management to increase the flexibility of transmission and distribution and to coordinate them closely. This is why ENTSO-E entered into an intensive cooperation with four associations representing European DSOs a few years ago, namely the European Distribution System Operators (EDSO) for Smart Grids, CEDEC, Eurelectric, and GEODE. A significant first step was the publication of a report on TSO-DSO data management on 19 September 2016.

By signing an updated Memorandum of Understanding on 23 October 2018, the partners expressed their commitment to maintain and enhance their collaboration. The focus is on measures to realise synergies in research, development and innovation, e.g. the exchange of data and information, the introduction of new communication devices and software, and the coordinated renewal of ageing grids. In addition, the TSOs and DSOs are also working together to implement network codes more efficiently. Further fields of cooperative activities will be defined at the beginning of 2019, taking into account the European Commission’s final Clean Energy Package.

ENTSO-E has signed an updated Memorandum of Understanding on close cooperation with four associations representing European DSOs

Linkup
> See ENTSO-E press release (html)

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

PowerCoordinationEurope – ElSeC 2018 held in Brussels

17.10.2018

Exactly one year ago today TSCNET Services in cooperation with the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E) hosted the first Conference on Electricity Security Coordination (ElSeC) in Munich. Yesterday this year’s edition took place in Brussels, Belgium, under the title #PowerCoordinationEurope. The event was organised by ENTSO-E and Coreso, the Regional Security Coordinator (RSC) for Belgium, France, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain, in partnership with the Florence School of Regulation (FSR). The event is said to “be a unique opportunity to explore the European electricity ‘stellar system’ with its local, national, regional and European dimensions – its market, operations, planning and innovation galaxies with IT as a vehicle for connecting the dots between them”.

In the course of the conference, the so-called Clean Energy Package was repeatedly discussed – with interesting contributions. Miguel Arias Cañete, European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, reiterated his expectation that the “decarbonisation of the power sector will be faster than anticipated”. We from TSCNET Services were also present. Uwe Zimmermann, one of the two Managing Directors, took part in the panel discussion on “A journey across Europe: RSC services and regional specificities”, also covering the needed level of interoperability between the RSCs.

The second Managing Director, Maik Neubauer, was one of the panelists at the session “Digital: enabling power coordination” discussing the impacts of digitalisation and analytical intelligence on grid management and European energy markets, but also aspects like cybersecurity for grid data. Together with Laurent Schmitt, General Secretary of ENTSO-E, and FSR Director Jean-Michel Glachant, he discussed the complexity topics of managing the security in the European power grid, based on rapidly evolving technologies.
.

Pictures from ElSeC 2018 #PowerCoordinationEurope (pictures by Coreso)

.

The ElSeC 2018 video by Coreso presenting all five Regional Security Coordinators (RSCs) in Europe (Munich and TSCNET Services from minute 5:30)

ElSeC 2018, called #PowerCoordinationEurope, by Coreso in cooperation with ENTSO-E and The Florence School of Regulation was held in Brussels

Linkup
> See ElSeC 2018 PowerCoordinationEurope programme (html)
> See ElSeC 2018 PowerCoordinationEurope list of speakers (html)

See article on single page

2nd CBA guideline approved

15.10.2018

The European Commission (EC) has approved the second Guideline for Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA) of grid development projects submitted by the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E). The comprehensive CBA document, now published by ENTSO-E, and the new methodology included in the publication are the result of a three-year process that has taken full account of the proposals of stakeholders, member states, regulators and the EC. ENTSO-E itself describes the guideline design as “learning by implementing”.

The CBA methodology is of such significance in that it not only provides the sole European methodology allowing a consistent assessment of Ten-Year Network Development Plan (TYNDP) transfer and storage projects, but its results are also the main input for the EC in the selection of European Projects of Common Interest (PCIs). In addition, the European CBA methodology can be regarded as a source of learning for national CBAs.

The European Commission has approved the 2nd ENTSO-E guideline for the CBA of grid development projects

Linkup
> See ENTSO-E press release (html, with access to CBA guideline)

See article on single page

PowerCoordinationEurope 2018 in Brussels

21.09.2018

Last year, TSCNET Services, the Munich-based Regional Security Coordinator (RSC), had the great privilege of hosting the first ElSeC conference on Electricity Security Coordination. Now the torch was passed on to the colleagues of Coreso. The Belgian RSC, in close coordination with the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E) and in association with the Florence School of Regulation, is organising the regional electricity summit under the new banner “PowerCoordinationEurope”.

With Coreso as host, this year’s conference participants will meet on 16 October in the immediate vicinity of European decision-making. ElSeC 2018 will take place in the Albert Hall in Brussels, just a stone’s throw away from the European Headquarters. “PowerCoordinationEurope” will be attended by high-level representatives from RSCs, transmission system operators (TSOs) and energy companies as well as by policy makers, various experts and thought leaders. The main topics to be discussed include the advancement of regional coordination, network code implementation, interoperability of RSCs and the current status of the European Commission’s Clean Energy Package.

It goes without saying that all five European RSCs play a prominent role in the event. TSCNET Services will be represented by its two managing directors, Maik Neubauer and Uwe Zimmermann. The latter will take part in the panel discussion on regional specificities of the RSC business, and Mr Neubauer will discuss the new opportunities for power coordination arising from digital solutions in information and communication technology. We look forward to good talks in Brussels .

PowerCoordinationEurope, the conference on electricity security coordination, takes place on 16 October 2018 in Brussels

Linkup
> Visit PowerCoordinationEurope webpage (html)

See article on single page