“RiffReporter” story: The more precise the forecast, the less intervention is required

11.12.2018

A detailed article by freelance journalist Daniela Becker on the German reportage website RiffReporter, an innovative and award-winning project for “quality journalism on future topics”, presents TSCNET Services and the work of a Regional Security Coordinator (RSC) for the European power transmission grid. The article is based on thorough research and a talk with the two TSCNET managing directors, Maik Neubauer and Uwe Zimmermann. Besides the development of the company, the possible consequences of the EU package “Clean Energy for All Europeans” are also discussed.

An article on TSCNET Services has been issued on the reportage platform RiffReporter (picture: TSCNET Services / Quirin Leppert)

Linkup
> Read RiffReporter article, in German (html)

See article on single page

Upcoming change in the 50Hertz management

05.12.2018

Since 2010, Boris Schucht has been CEO of TSCNET shareholder 50Hertz, one of the four German transmission system operators (TSOs). Before his engagement with 50Hertz, Schucht has already held senior management positions for companies from the energy sector such as Vattenfall Europe Venture GmbH or WEMAG AG. After nine successful years at the helm of 50Hertz, the CEO of the north-eastern German TSO now wants to face new professional challenges.

Boris Schucht and the 50Hertz Supervisory Board as well as the shareholders Elia and KfW (Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau) on 4 December consensually agreed that the current CEO will manage 50Hertz up until 28 February 2019. Mr Schucht commented on the recent company evolution: “For 50Hertz, a new era begins after the share transfers this year. After nine very exciting and extremely successful years with a really great team, this is the right time for me to pass on the baton.” Chris Peeters, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, expressed his sincere thanks for Boris Schucht’s “dedicated contribution to the company’s success story”.

Boris Schucht will resign as CEO of 50Hertz (picture: 50Hertz / Jan Pauls)

Linkup
> See 50Hertz press release (html)

See article on single page

“Mastering the energy transition on a pan-European basis”

19.11.2018

The “THEMEN:magazin” is a German-language medium that reports every two months “on the challenges, opportunities and perspectives of the economy with a focus on energy policy”. In the latest issue (5/2018), readers will also find an interview with Maik Neubauer, one of the two managing directors of TSCNET Services. It followed the Conference on Electricity Security Coordination (ElSeC) 2018 in Brussels, the #PowerCoordinationEurope.

The hot and dry summer of 2018 was a good example of extreme weather conditions that required top performance from transmission system operators, explains Neubauer. Wherever lines fail or threaten to fail, countermeasures must be taken immediately during operation. The interaction between transmission and distribution networks must also function smoothly. TSCNET Services supports these complex processes as a Regional Security Coordinator (RSC).

At the centre is a range of services relating to grid congestion management for transmission system operators (TSOs) to ensure a high level of grid security in Europe against the background of the rapidly growing share of renewable energies within the energy mix. Especially the high generation volatility of PV and wind farms leads to significantly higher demands on the monitoring and management of the European transmission grids.

TSCNET can at any time take advantage of a huge amount of data from almost all European network operators to calculate the network situation in the next hours and days and to identify possible congestions. “We thus act as an early warning system for the identification of potential dangers in the network, continuously evaluate these with our TSO partners and can thus counteract potential blackout situations in Europe in a concerted manner,” summarises Neubauer.

In general, the European high-voltage grid is technically very stable and resilient, but often the limits are reached in the meantime, also because of the slow expansion of the grid. In the coming years, too, secure network operation is still only conceivable with considerable redispatch measures. The electricity from German offshore wind farms in the North or Baltic Seas does not stop at the border. The so-called ‘Clean Energy Package’ also changes the framework conditions throughout Europe. The energy transition is not a German project, but must be mastered on a pan-European basis.

In its current issue, the German-language “THEMEN:magazin” features a detailed interview with Maik Neubauer on TSCNET Services being the “congestion messenger for Europe’s power highways”.

Linkup
> Open “THEMEN:magazin” interview (pdf, 275kb)
> “THEMEN:magazin” website (html)

Questions?
Christoph Meinersmann
TSCNET Services, Communications/PR (external consultant)
E-mail: c.meinersmann@extern-tscnet.eu

See article on single page

Guest at the German Energy Congress

12.09.2018

The 13th German Energy Congress (“13. Deutscher Energiekongress”) is a renowned and prominently attended industry meeting with a focus on energy policy and business models. The congress offers the opportunity for professional exchange and for the mediation of specialist information. It is aimed at high-ranking representatives of the German energy industry. The motto of this year’s congress is “Energy industry in transition”, taking place on 11 and 12 September at the event location of the “MVG-Museum” in Munich, Germany.

As an essential component of the congress, a “Political Evening” took place yesterday evening. This event was moderated by two journalists of the “Süddeutsche Zeitung”, one of Germany’s leading and opinion-forming daily newspapers. Next to high-profile political representatives ‒ Franz Josef Pschierer, the State Minister in the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs, Energy and Technology, and Prof. Dr. Martin Neumann, Johann Saathoff and Dr. Julia Verlinden, three members of the German Bundestag with energy policy expertise but also with diverging energy policy ideas ‒ Maik Neubauer, one of the two managing directors of TSCNET Services, took part in the panel discussion.

In the discussion, Mr Neubauer focused on the role of the “energy market expert”, i.e. he did not only comment on political issues, but also provided information on the company TSCNET Services and gave an insight on the European Energy market development from the inside perspective of a Regional Security Coordinator (RSC) for the European power transmission grid. Together with Prof. Neumann from the Free Democratic Party (FDP) in Germany, he actively discussed the role of digitalisation as an enabler of the energy transition in Germany and very important element of future grid and energy market infrastructures. For all market players, maintaining system security in a rapidly and constantly changing energy market is undoubtedly one of the major challenges.

Maik Neubauer, one of the two managing directors of TSCNET, is one of the participants of the “Political Evening” at the 13th German Energy Congress in Munich

Linkup
> Open Energy Congress (Deutscher Energiekongress) programme, in German (pdf, 2mb)

See article on single page

“E&M Powernews”: “Excellent overview of the grid”

27.07.2018

Largely unnoticed by the broad public, five European regional security coordinators (RSCs) are working on what is arguably the most important task for ensuring the security of electricity supply at continental level: a stable and secure transmission system. RSCs analyse critical grid situations from a regional perspective and advise their customers in order to avoid bottlenecks or even blackouts. One of them is TSCNET Services. A detailed background article published by “Energie & Management”, a renowned daily German print and online newspaper for the energy market, portrays the company and presents the special challenges that an RSC has to face every day.

For example, a critical situation occurred in the very cold January 2017. “Even though the redispatch coordination functioned well at that time, the emergence of grid bottlenecks has shown that in the course of the expansion of renewable energies in Europe, we need to identify critical conditions and developments even faster”, explains Maik Neubauer, one of the two managing directors of TSCNET Services. For this reason, TSCNET, in close cooperation with the partner TSOs, has established the “Critical Grid Situation Service” to facilitate communication between the RSC and the TSOs.

Close and seamless communication is crucial for TSCNET Services, because the RSC does not intervene in the transmission network itself, but gives recommendations for action. The final decision, however, lies with the responsible TSO, which can always rely on the validity of the information provided by TSCNET. To ensure this reliability, the specialists at TSCNET monitor the network flows in Central and Eastern Europe. This involves a lot of data: More or less 600,000 data series with a volume in the double-digit gigabyte range yield around 300 prognoses every single day – a “big data company with top advisory expertise”.

Still, the volume of data will continue to increase, especially in view of the implementation of the Common Grid Model (CGM) under the EU network codes. “Today, we still lack some data, especially about the situation at the interfaces to the distribution grids”, states Maik Neubauer. Once the individual grid models of the respective TSOs and the CGM have been established, the additional data also flows into the calculations of TSCNET. This will expand the RSC’s perspective and further optimise system operation. While critical situations affecting only two TSOs can be resolved bilaterally, it becomes more difficult, if several parties are involved. An incident in Poland, for instance, may well affect not only Germany but also the Czech Republic. In such a case, the central coordination provided by TSCNET is essential to anticipate problems or to calculate short-term effects.

Every day at 9:00 pm, TSCNET’s Daily Operational Planning Teleconference (DOPT) with the TSOs’ experts will be held to summarise system occurrences and to coordinate possible compensation measures for the next day. Though everyone involved is quite satisfied with this daily routine, the EU is also pursuing divergent plans. In the context of the European Commission’s “Clean Energy for All Europeans” package, the idea of Regional Operational Centres (ROCs) came into being, which would extend the role of current RSCs by giving them operational responsibility. The TSOs – who would have to hand over competences – are sceptical, and also Maik Neubauer has clear positions in this regard. He points out the complexity of the European power system and the valuable experience of national TSOs. Mr. Neubauer therefore prefers to further improve regional coordination and to leave the operational business to the TSOs: “A Europe-wide centralisation of grid control would be a mammoth project with many risks and unknowns.”

“Energie & Management”, the well-esteemed German trade magazin for the energy market, released an article on the Munich-based RSC TSCNET Services.

Linkup
> Visit “E&M Powernews” website, in German (html)
> See “E&M Powernews” article, in German (pay to read the article)

See article on single page

“ZfK”: “Big data for a stable grid situation”

13.06.2018

With fourteen transmission system operators (TSOs) from eleven Central and Eastern European countries as shareholders and four additional customers from four other countries, the surveillance area of the Munich-based regional security coordinator (RSC) TSCNET Services lies at the heart of the continent. TSCNET was originally set up as a joint TSO initiative to maintain the operational security of the electricity system. Today, TSCNET’s core responsibilities include coordinated network security analysis, capacity calculations, support in critical network situations, and aggregation of all relevant network data for the partner TSOs.

Despite their essential function within the integrated European transmission system, the work of the RSCs still is not well known to those who are not directly involved in the energy market. A comprehensive insight report published in Germany’s leading professional journal for the municipal energy economy, the “Zeitung für kommunale Wirtschaft” (ZfK), offers a great opportunity to improve TSCNET’s name recognition in this specific economic sector. A journalist from the prestigious press medium had a revealing talk with Maik Neubauer, one of the two Managing Directors of TSCNET Services.

The report is centred around TSCNET’s Daily Operational Planning Teleconference (DOPT) with the TSOs’ experts. In these conferences every day at 9 p.m., TSCNET’s risk analysis is presented every day and the catalogue of possible measures is discussed.

Mr Neubauer emphasises the outstanding role of the RSCs as an early warning system for grid security in the increasingly complex and rapidly changing transnational electricity system. He sees TSCNET well prepared for new tasks, as already now the “pan-European network security analysis is going to be strongly aligned with the other european RSCs”.

Power lines silhouetted with city night life. Picture: Voy Ager / Shutterstock, stock photo ID 631374623.

Linkup
> Open “ZfK” article, in German (pdf, 427kb)

See article on single page

TSCNET Services welcomes SEPS as shareholder

11.06.2018

TSCNET Services is the result of an initiative of European transmission system operators (TSOs), and to this day our company is characterised by a particularly close relationship with our customers, most of whom are also our shareholders. Today we can proudly welcome the Slovak TSO, SEPS (Slovenská elektrizačná prenosová sústava, a. s.), as the new, 14th shareholder. To mark this occasion, we have published a press release on SEPS’ participation as a shareholder.

The Slovak transmission grid consists of 2.138 km of 400 kV lines, 826 km of 220 kV lines and from historical reasons also 80 km of 110 kV lines and is connected with four neighboring countries: Czechia, Poland, Hungary and Ukraine – Burshtyn island. With the exception of the Ukraine, all neighboring TSOs are shareholders and customers of TSCNET. SEPS is solely responsible for electricity transmission throughout the country.

“A quick glance at the map is enough to see that with SEPS’ entry we are now completing the electricity security coordination in the central-eastern part of the continental transmission system” says Uwe Zimmermann, one of the two Managing Directors of TSCNET. “This move will further foster the security of supply in this region and underpins our ambition to further improve the already high quality of our security coordination services.” As a shareholder with full voting rights, SEPS can now also actively contribute to steering and developing the service company.

View of the Slovak capital Bratislava as seen from the Danube. In the background the famous castle. Picture: Džoko Stach, Pixabay.

Linkup
> Open TSCNET Services press release (pdf, 119kb)

Questions?
Press contact: Christoph Meinersmann
E-mail: c.meinersmann@extern-tscnet.eu

See article on single page

Keynote speech at BMWi event in Berlin

25.04.2018

The German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie – BMWi) maintains an intensive exchange on the energy sector with the United Arab Emirates (UAE). From 22 to 27 April 2018, an expert delegation from the UAE is visiting the BMWi to further deepen the interchange of expertise on electricity market design or questions of grid optimisation between Germany and the UAE. In addition to several field trips and discussions, an expert workshop on the subject of “Market and Grid Integration of Renewable Energy” in the Berlin Embassy of the UAE on 24 April was a key element of the bilateral activities.

In the first workshop session ‒ ”Market and regulatory frameworks for renewables” ‒ a keynote was given by Maik Neubauer, one of the two Managing Directors of TSCNET Services, the Munich-based regional security coordinator (RSC). Mr Neubauer spoke about the digitisation of the energy sector and the most important building blocks for the development of an integrated EU power market including secure and connected grids, marketplaces, and market models. In his adress, the TSCNET manager presented an expert account and profound approaches from the inside perspective of an RSC, which is providing European transmission system operators (TSOs) with safety analyses and risk management.

> See BMWi press release from 17 April 2018, in German (html)

Pictures processed in the collage above: Frederic Schweizer

Picture top right: Achim Raschka / CC-BY-SA-4.0

See article on single page

“Tagesspiegel Background”: “Most valuable advice”

17.04.2018

Will there be large amounts of wind energy in the coastal regions? Where do bottlenecks might occur? And how should transmission system operators (TSOs) react in order to avoid critical network situations? ‒ Safety analysis and risk management for the pan-European transmission system based on large volumes of data is the core business of the European regional security coordinators (RSCs), one of which is the Munich-based TSCNET Services. Although there are many other tasks ‒ such as calculating generation capacity to keep the grid stable ‒ RSCs only monitor and evaluate the market and grid situation to advise their TSO shareholders, but do not operate the grid themselves.

Maik Neubauer, one of the two managing directors of TSCNET Services, took the opportunity to explain the business of the Munich-based RSC more detailed in a personal portrait and interview in the “Tagesspiegel Background Energy & Climate”, a daily market newsletter for decision-makers from the energy and climate sector. The “Background” is created by specialists from the renowned German daily newspaper “Tagesspiegel”. In addition, Mr Neubauer gives insights into his personal view of the digital and energy-specific future, his motivations and inspirations.

Recently, in the context of the European Commision’s “Clean Energy for All Europeans” package, there has been some discussion about the role of the RSCs and wether they should take over operational responsibility. Regarding this, Mr Neubauer represents clear positions: “In my view, Brussels underestimates how complex the European power grids are and how valuable the long experience of national TSOs is.” Hence, the TSCNET managing director welcomes the prevailing opinion that the RSCs will not have direct control of the network in the near future. Instead, TSCNET Services will streamline its evaluative and advisory functions. This includes grid stabilisation assistance after outages, training of TSO staff and active proposals for necessary compensation measures to improve cross-border coordination, increase safety and, ultimately, save costs.

> Open article and interview, in German (pdf, 126kb).

The article was published in the daily decision-maker newsletter “Tagesspiegel Background Energy & Climate” and is reissued with kind permission. The rights are held by the publishing house Der Tagesspiegel GmbH.

See article on single page

Thomas Egebo appointed CEO of Energinet

20.03.2018

At the helm of TSCNET shareholder Energinet, a change of personnel is pending, as long-time President and CEO Peder Østermark Andreasen has decided to retire after 13 years of successfully managing the Danish transmission system operator (TSO). As successor to Mr. Andreasen, the Supervisory Board of Energinet now has designated Thomas Egebo, who will take over his duties as early as 1 May 2018. Thomas Egebo comes from top level politics to Energinet, holding the position of Permanent Secretary in the Danish Ministry of Energy, Utilities and Climate.

Given Energinet’s important role in the Danish and European energy sector, Lars Barfoed, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, emphasises the high degree of responsibility that the company’s CEO has to shoulder, especially in times of a rapidly changing energy system. In this regard, Mr Barfoed praises the very strong professional profile and extensive experience of Thomas Egebo, who himself outlines Energinet’s mission as managing and expanding “socially critical energy infrastructure”, ensuring “high security of supply and well-functioning electricity and gas markets”, and supporting an “efficient transition to clean energy”.

> See Energinet press release (html)

Picture: Maria Tuxen Hedegaard / Energinet

See article on single page