EU Parliament approves “Clean Energy Package”

27.03.2019

On 26 March 2019, the Members of the European Parliament adopted four new laws on the EU electricity market, which were agreed informally with EU ministers at the end of 2018. In detail, these are the new Electricity Market Regulation and Electricity Market Directive as well as the Regulations on Risk Preparedness and the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER). This concludes the “Clean Energy for All Europeans Package” (CEP). The agreements now need to be formally approved by the EU ministers and published in the EU Official Journal before they can enter into force.

The overall objective of the CEP is to create a Europe-wide market for electricity that is cleaner, more competitive and more risk-adjusted. One of the more specific targets is to freely distribute at least 70% of trading capacity across borders from 2020 on in order to facilitate trade in renewable energy across EU borders and thus support the efforts to meet the EU’s binding target of 32% renewable energy by 2030 and to fulfil the obligations of the Paris Agreement. The regulation on ACER implies that the Agency will be given more tasks and powers.

The European Parliament adopts the last four CEP regulations (photo of the European Parliament: Leonardo1982/Pixabay)

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EC calls for further PCIs

22.03.2019

Under the “Connecting Europe Facility” (CEF) Energy Work Programme, the European Commission (EC) is providing a further €750m to finance Projects of Common Interest (PCIs) in the energy sector, which of course includes electricity and smart grid projects. In addition to the objective of increasing competitiveness, the EC aims to promote pan-European security of supply and sustainable, environment-friendly grid development.

Since 20 March, the EC is calling for proposals for projects focusing, for example, on market integration, interoperability of networks across borders, integration of renewable energies or the elimination of bottlenecks as well as energy isolation. The deadline for project submissions is 13 June 2019, and a virtual information day for all interested parties will be held on 19 April.

In the framework of the CEF programme, the EC calls for proposals for PCIs contributing to the objectives of the European Energy Union (picture: EC-Audiovisual Service / Etienne Ansotte)

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> See EC press release (html, with access to all the relevant documents)

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New syllabus for network codes

12.03.2019

The EU electricity network codes and guidelines are a detailed set of rules to promote the harmonisation of national electricity markets and regulations on the way to the European Energy Union. By the end of 2017, a total of eight network codes and guidelines have been implemented: three grid connection codes, three market codes and two operation codes. In order to raise awareness of these innovative pan-European rules for a more sustainable, reliable and interconnected power system and to better involve market participants in the code contents and their implementation, the Florence School of Regulation (FSR) has published a new syllabus as part of its online training on European network codes.

The online course partners of the FSR are those institutions that have developed the codes: the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E), the European Agency for Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) and the European Commission. The new manual deals mainly with market codes and discusses, for instance, the different European electricity markets and their establishment in the national context as well as their integration. Also, two connection codes are described and their technical requirements clarified. The syllabus is also a beneficial addition to ENTSO-E’s e-codes application for smartphones.

The FSR has published a new syllabus on the European electricity network codes (picture: photomontage using an illustration by the European Union / EC – Audiovisual Service)

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> See ENTSO-E press release (html)
> Visit Network codes syllabus website of the European University Institute (html, with access to download)

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Kick-off for Croatian-Serbian-Bulgarian market integration

28.02.2019

A first group meeting in the Serbian capital of Belgrade was the initiation of the trilateral market coupling between Croatia, Serbia, and Bulgaria. The successful event was attended by representatives of the three national transmission system operators (TSOs), including the Croatian TSCNET shareholder HOPS, and the three respective electricity exchanges as well as regulatory authorities.

Together, the parties involved have committed themselves to make every effort and providing the necessary resources to ensure the feasibility of the project and its timely implementation. The final objective is to establish a trilateral market coupling according to the European Multi-Regional Coupling (MRC) specifications.

The Croatian-Serbian-Bulgarian market coupling was initiated by a first meeting of the main stakeholders (photo of Belgrade: falco/Pixabay)

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> See HOPS press release, in Croatian (html)

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EU invests in priority energy infrastructure

05.02.2019

The “Connecting Europe Facility” (CEF) programme by the European Commission (EC) is a major European funding instrument to support the Energy Union, which is one of the EC’s policy priorities. CEF promotes the development of high performing, sustainable and efficiently interconnected trans-European networks in transport, energy and digital services sectors. Significant infrastructure projects of TSCNET shareholders are also considered as Projects of Common Interest (PCIs) and worthy of support.

PCIs financed by CEF include for example the Viking Link interconnector of the Danish transmission system operator (TSO) Energinet, the SuedLink DC line in Germany – a joint venture of the Dutch-German TSO TenneT and TransnetBW from southwestern Germany – and the joint smart grid project SINCRO.GRID of TSOs ELES and HOPS from Slovenia and Croatia respectively.

Last week, the EU Member States endorsed the EC’s proposal to invest a further €800 million under the CEF in infrastructure projects with high cross-border benefits. The current approval concerns the CEF’s financial support for studies and work on a total of 14 projects. Priority has been given to initiatives to increase competitiveness, improve security of energy supply and contribute to sustainable development and environmental protection.

The EU is investing a further €800m in priority energy infrastructure (illustration based on a picture by EC-Audiovisual Service / Mauro Bottaro)

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> See EC press release (html)

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European power facts

22.01.2019

“Power Facts Europe 2019” is a focused and data-driven report on the dimension, status quo, development and perspectives of key areas of the European energy transition published today by the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E). The “Power Facts” are part of a wider ENTSO-E transparency initiative by which ENTSO-E and the transmission system operators (TSOs) aim to provide citizens with factual support to promote the energy transition in Europe and its acceptance.

The “Power Facts Europe” consist of six chapters. The first three represent the common triad of sustainability, market and security of supply, which is supplemented by chapters on infrastructure, customers and the cyber physical grid. Each chapter offers relevant data compilations, mainly provided by the TSO community, that allow a better understanding of important aspects related to the energy transition.

ENTSO-E has released “Power Facts Europe 2019”, a consistent data report on the EU-wide energy transition

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> See ENTSO-E press release (html)
> Open ”Power Facts Europe 2019” (pdf, 22.7MB)

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EU supports research on power system interfaces

17.01.2019

After implementing the network codes and the “Clean Energy for All Europeans” package, the European Commission is now funding INTERRFACE under the Horizon 2020 programme. The aim of this research project is to create new connections/interfaces in the power system. INTERRFACE has now been launched and will run for three years with a budget of €21m. It involves 42 partners from grid and market operators, aggregators, service and technology providers as well as universities.

The consortium includes the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSOE) and the two TSCNET shareholders ELES, the Slovenian transmission system operator (TSO), and Transelectrica, the TSO from Romania. Together with their partners, they plan to develop an Interoperable pan-European Grid Services Architecture to serve as an interface between customers and power system operators – TSOs and distribution system operators (DSOs) – to allow seamless, transparent and non-discriminatory exchange of energy services.

INTERRFACE is intended to demonstrate the added value of data exchange between all players involved in the value chain of the electricity system, and this from local, regional to EU level. This would be a first in the energy sector. INTERRFACE should also enable TSOs, DSOs and customers to fully exploit and coordinate the potential of decentralised energy resources.

The European Commission is funding a research project on creating a Interoperable pan-European Grid Services Architecture

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> See ENTSO-E press release (html)

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TSO proposals for balancing market integration

20.12.2018

To pave the way for a well-functioning energy union, there are eight European network codes: regulations that are intended to promote the integration and coordination of the various national European energy markets. One of these codes, the Commission regulation establishing a guideline for electricity balancing (EBGL), is intended – as the wording implies – to integrate the national European balancing markets.

Cross-border balancing is crucial for the transmission system operators (TSOs) to continuously ensure that the grid frequency is kept within a defined security range and that the required level and quality of power reserves are maintained. The European TSOs have now substantially advanced the guideline implementation by submitting six proposals for balancing market integration and the creation of platforms for the exchange of balancing energy products to the competent national regulatory authorities (NRAs).

With the assistance of the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSOE), these proposals have been developed in close cooperation between all TSOs and consulted with stakeholders. Laurent Schmitt, ENTSO-E Secretary General, is convinced that the realisation of the TSO proposals will create a level playing field for all market participants and thus lead to increased cross-border participation, supply security, competition and share of renewable energy. Consequently, Mr Schmitt identifies a “true ‘win-win-win situation‘, good for customer, the environment and the economy”.

The European TSOs have submitted six proposals for balancing market integration to the competent NRAs

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> See ENTSO-E press release (html)
> Visit the EBGL website (html)

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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)

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“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)

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> Read RiffReporter article, in German (html)

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